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The welcome which was given to the Memoir of Jenny 
Lind in the original edition of two volumes has encouraged 
us to offer it in a smaller and less expensive form. In its first 
form it was essential that it should aim at completeness and 
thoroughness of treatment. It had to omit nothing that might 
legitimately be asked for, by those to whom her memory was dear 
in Sweden, and in Germany, no less than in England. It had to 
satisfy the attention and the interest of musical experts, to whom 
her career was a record of artistic perfection. To do this, it 
could not but be lengthy, detailed, and somewhat expensive. But, 
after all this has been done, there remains a larger English pubHc, 
to whom she had become a name rather than a positive memory ; 
who had never heard her sing : but yet to whom her life could 
not but appeal with the irresistible force that belongs to genius 
whenever it is allied with simplicity, candour, purity, and courage. 
To them, her story would speak home, if only they had the oppor- 
tunity of reading it. 

We have, therefore, ventured on the task of reducing the 
memoir to one volume, by vigorous curtailments, and by omis- 
sion of much technical matter,* We trust that, in this reduced 

* e.g. The ' Appendix of Music,' etc. : published separately by Messrs. 
Novello & Co. 


form, it may still convey the impression of a character which had 
a touch of unique nobility. Nothing has been added, except that, 
in the chapter entitled " Last "Words," an attempt has been made 
to fill up the outline of Madame Goldschmidt's art-life after her 
marriage, that it may be felt to have the reality, and the value, 
which undoubtedly belonged to it in fact. 




( vii ) 



Introduction ......... page 1 



Bii'th of Jenny Lind — Her parents — The child entrusted to Carl Ferndal 
at Sollentuna — Her love of the country — Return to Stockholm — Fru 
Tengmark, her grandmother — First discovery of her musical gifts — The 
Fanfare — Jenny at the Widows' Home — Mdlle. Lundberg hears her 
sing — Introduction to Herr Croelius — Jenny transferred to the School 
of the Royal Theatre page 7 



The Royal Theatre, Stockholm — Jenny's life at school — She is boarded with 
her mother — Contract with the Directors — The training of an Alctris- 
Elev — Jenny's general education — DiflBculties with her mother — Friend- 
ship with Mina Fundin — She takes refuge with Mdlle. Bayard — Her 
letter to Fru Fundin ....... yage 15 



Jenny's dramatic power— Her first appearance as " Angela " in The Polish 
Mine — She acts " Johanna " in Testamentet — Criticism in the Heimdall — 
Extract from the play — " Otto " in Johanna de Montfaucon — " Janette " 
in the Pasha of Suresne — " Louise " in the Students of Smdland, etc, — 
The Daily Allehanda protests against its performance — Other roles — 
She sings at concerts — Herr Berg and his pupil — Lindblad's Opera 


Fronddrerne — Sacchini's (Edipus in Athens — She receives a salary from 
tlie K. Theatre — Her appearances in 1837 — Hard work — Rise of 
Meyerbeer — Bohert de Normandie — Jenny Lind's success . page 24 



The moment of inspiration— " Agatha " — "Julia" — Rise in salary — "Alice" 
in Eoherto — Upsala — Escort home and Students' song — Country life- 
Popular enthusiasm — Fru Lind — Louise Johansson — Jenny Lind's re- 
moval to Herr Lindblad's — Operatic successes — Presentation of plate — 
The judgment of Sweden page 35 



Soiree at Stockholm — Moral independence — "A unique apparition" — Per- 
sonal appearance of Jenny Lind — A transparent countenance — A typical 
Swede — Undertone of melancholy — Friendship— Influence of Lindblad 
— Geijer's songs page 46 



Jenny Lind appointed Court Singer — Unsatisfied longings — Offer from the 
Royal Theatre — Refusal — Parisian scheme — Provincial tour accompanied 
by her father — Charity — Stockholm — "Lucia" — "Alice" — "Norma" 
— Overstrain — Salary — Farewell ..... page 58 


IN PARIS, 1841-42. 

On the way — Arrival in Paris — First introduction — Nervousness — Garcia's 
first impressions — Jenny Lind's anguish — Rest — Linguistic studies — 
Street cries — End of probation — Garcia's lessons — Scales and exercises — 
What to unlearn — The worst over — Musical intuitioa . page 65 



Home at Mdlle. du Puget's — Home thoughts — Mdlle. Nissen's influence — 
Madame Persiani — Rachel — Dramatic inspiration — Despondency— A 
merciful escape ........ page 73 




Recovery of voice with enhanced powers — The Artist complete — Dislike to 
Parisian artist-life — Reasons for visit to Paris and return to Stockholm — 
Longings for home . . . . . . . page 80 



Offers from Stockholm — Engagement concluded — Lindblad's opinion — Inter- 
view with Meyerbeer — Private trial at the Grand Opera — Meyerbeer's 
judgment — M. Pillet, Director of the Grand Opera — The second phase 
ended .......... page 85 



The Continent passive — Residence at Stockholm — Invitation to Louise 
Johansson — Re-appearance as "Norma" — The messadi voce — Stockholm 
enraptured — New characters — Swedish laws as to unmarried women — 
Jenny Liiid and her parents — Appointment of an oflScial guardian — 
Description of Herr H. M. Munthe — "The mirror of a noble soul" — 
National Jubilee — A May-day in Warend — The poet Topelius — J. A. 
Josephson — Success at Copenhagen — Touching anecdote — New roles 
— Gluck's Armida — Opinion of Andersen's Tales — Proposals from 
Meyerbeer ......... page 91 




Study of German — Josephson's welcome — A soiree at Dresden — Renewed 
offer at Stockholm — Jenny Lind's refusal — A momentous journey 

page 111 


Predecessors of Jenny Lind — Suspense — Meyerbeer's attentions — Courtesy 
of the Royal Family — Success in Society — Impression on Lady West- 
morland— ^Transfiguration — Indifference to dress — First meeting with 
Mendelssohn ........ page 115' 




Das Feldlager in Schlesien — Fraulein Tuczec " Vielka " — " Norma " — Success 
— Contrasts — Eellstab's critique — Visit from Herr Josephson — A Swedish 
Christmas Eve ........ page 121 



German studies resumed — Eapid progress — Meyerbeer enchanted — The 
public astonished — The critic's summary — Invitation to London — At 
Tieck's — Serenade and presentation .... page 129 



Mr. Bunn's journey to Berlin — Hears Jenny Lind — Proposals — The 
Ambassador's Box at the Opera — Contract signed — Terms page 134 



Weber's death — His burial — Jenny Lind's interpretation of " Euryanthe " — 
Critique — The apparition of Emma — La Sonnambula — Critique — Sudden 
indisposition — Letter from Meyerbeer — Letter to Mr. Bunn — Last appear- 
ance — Norma — Critique — Soiree by the brothers Ganz — Court Concerts — 
Other Concerts — Farewell — Swedish songs — At Professor Wichmann's— 
Unrest page 138 



"The homeward journey — Guest performances at Hamburg — Joy of return — 
Delight of her people — A welcome — Eighteen performances — Die Tochter 
cles Regiments for soldiers — A concert — Country life — Summons to the 
Court of Prussia ........ page 148 



Her Majesty's reception by the King and Queen of Prussia — Inauguration 
of the statue of Beethoven at Bonn — Extract from Herr Brockhaus' 
diary — A sorrow — Jenny Lind sings at the State Concerts — Mrs. Grote's 
account — Meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Grote at Frankfort — Mrs. Grote 
offers to intercede with Mr. Bunn — Jenny's wish to retire and her reasons 
— A London journalist's opinion of Jenny Lind's personal appearance 
and voice — Proposals for Vienna . . . . . * page 153 




For Charity — Letter to Madame Bircli-Pfeiffer — Impressions of Copenhagen 
— The, Miud- World of the North — Hans Andersen's Verdict — The Bunn 
Contract ......... page 160 



True friends — A brilliant season — " Donna Anna " — Ber FreiscMtz — First 
production — The Berlinische Zeitung upon Jenny Lind's impersonation 
of " Agathe " — The Opera of Nature — Jenny Lind's devotion to Art — 
Self-depreciation — Artistic position reviewed by Jenny Lind in letter 
to Madame Erikson — Desire for retirement . . . page 168 



Letter to Herr Josephson — Jenny Lind's opinion of Mendelssohn — Reflex 
action — The two great Artists at Leipzig— Great popular excitement — 
Free list suspended — Indignation of the Students of the Conservatorium 
— Rush for tickets — Miss Dolby — Herr Heinrich Brockhaus' diary — The 
note-book of Herr Edouard Brockhaus — Serenade and presentation — 
Mendelssohn returns thanks for Jenny Lind . . . page 176 



"Julia" in Die Vestalin — Rellstab's glowing panegyric — Jenny Lind's 
unerring dramatic instinct — Hans Christian Andersen — An al fresco 
toilette — An enthusiastic admirer — Andersen and Jenny Lind at Weimar 
— ^Visit to the Fiirstengruft — Verses by Rollet — Visit to the Mendelssohn 
family at Leipzig — Letter from Jenny to Andersen — Meyerbeer's punc- 
tilious regard for perfection of detail — Personnel of the cast in Les 
Huguenots — Rellstab's criticism on Jenny Lind's " Valentine " 

page 184 
aup wiedersehen! 

An unfortunate accident — General sympathy — Letter from Mendelssohn — 
Three weeks' imprisonment — Medallion portrait modelled by Professor 
Wichmann — Portrait by Magnus — Re-appearance of Jenny Lind in 
Norma — Benefit recorded by Rellstab .... page 192 





Visit to the Brockhaus family — Mendelssohn's home-life — Home-life of 
Professor Wichmann — Herr Ferdinand David — Madame Schumann — 
Mendelssohn as an accompanist — In Vienna — Madame Birch-Pfeiifer's 
delineation of Jenny Lind's character — Mendelssohn's letter to Herr Franz 
Hauser — The " Theater an der Wien " — Norma — Timidity of Jenny Lind 
— Herr Hauser's reassurance — Success — Press notice of Jenny Lind's 
appearance — Strong party against Jenny Lind — Successful appearance 
in La Sonnambula — Countless calls before the curtain — Farther letters 
from Mendelssohn — Scheme for a libretto for Mendelssohn by Madame 
Birch-Pfeififer — Difficulties — Die Gliihellinen in Pisa — A wreath from 
the Empress-Mother — An ovation — Accident to Jenny Lind's man-servant 

page 198 


Mendelssohn engaged on Elijah — Hauser's estimate of Jenny Lind — The 
Rhenish Festivals— /Si. Paul in 1836— The present festival ,at Aix- 
la-Chapelle — Consideration for an invalid servant — Haydn's Creation 
—The Jenny Lind jPesi —Mendelssohn's and Geijer's account of it — 
Departure from Aachen — Elijah on the eve of production page 217 



The Drachenfels — ^Appearances at Hanover — Friendship with the Royal 
Family — Second season at Hamburg — Overstrain — A short holiday — 
Elijah still unfinished — " Annotations-bok " of Jenny Lind — Visit to 
Frankfort — Mrs. Grote and Mr. Lumley — The Bunn Contract — English 
influences — Mr. Edward Lewin — Mr. Lumley's efforts — Mendelssohn's 
introduction of Chorley — Chorley's impressions of Jenny Lind — Darm- 
stadt — Lumley's trust in Mendelssohn's influence — Mendelssohn's letter 
in support of Lumley's endeavours — Engagement with Lumley signed — 
Fresh endeavours to obtain a libretto — The Lumley Contract page 225 



In Munich — The Kaulbachs — Letter from Mendelssohn objecting to the 
Italian plan — Concerts particuUers — The Birch-Pfeiffer libretto — 


" Susanna " in Figaro — Society at the Kaulbachs — Stuttgart — Letter 
to Judge Muntlie on London engagement — Carlsruhe — Heidelberg — 
A Nuremberg medal — Keturn to Munich — Haydn's Creation at Munich 

jpage 237 


Operas — Marie, die Tochter des Regiments — Portrait — The Wiener Zeitung — 
The Schumanns — Madame Schumann's Diary — Concerts — "Willielmina 
Neruda — Solicitude of Mendelssohn about the Bunn Contract imge 247 



Trio for voice and two flutes in Vielka — Fraulein Auguste von Jaeger's re- 
miniscences — Radnitzky's medal — Imperial Kammersiingerin — The 
Schumanns — Viardot Garcia — Mr. Bunn adheres to the Contract — Terror 
of Jenny Lind — Reassurances of Mendelssohn — Jenny Lind's offer to 
Mr. Bunn— Last song at Vienna ..... page 253 



The " Vieille Garde " of the Opera — Mr. Lumley in the field — Lablache — 
Mr. Lumley's only hope — Lablache's estimate of Jenny Lind — Mr. 
Lumley's journey to Vienna — Elijali at Exeter Hall conducted by Men- 
delssohn — Mendelssohn's Visit to Mrs. Grote — Watching for Jenny Lind 
— Arrival — Appearance in Mrs. Grote's box at Her Majesty's Theatre — 
Jenny Lind at Mrs. Grote's — Mendelssohn invites her to sing — Jenny 
Lind's nervousness — Second essay — Still diffident about public appear- 
ance — Mrs. Grote's home-thrust — Jenny Lind convinced — Appoints 
rehearsal and chooses " Alice " in i2o&er^o . . . page 259 



Public excitement — Crowded house — Entrance of Alice — The Terzetto and 
Mme. Goldschmidt's interpretation of it — Self-effacement — ^A true artist 
— The Times' critique ....... page 265 



Seclusion — A household word — A Broadside — ^Albert Smith's sketches — 
Jenny Lind's accounts of her London dd'but and description of her home 


— Mr. Bunn's position — Her Italian successful — Loving greeting to the 
Imperial city — Jenny Lind's large heart — Visiting the sick — Mr. Lumley 
saved .......... page 270 



Royal attentions — The Duke of Wellington — A brilliant company — Jenny 
Lind escapes — The new " Amina " — Ah ! non credea — A stage illusion — 
Jenny Lind's thoroughness — Balfe's tribute — Lablache's comment — New 
departure in La Figlia — Inspired by Jenny Lind — The Priestess of 
Nature ^ page 277 


THE queen's state VISIT TO THE OPERA. 

" Norma " — Attitude of the Press — A new reading — Opinions of the Press — 
Mons. Roger — Opposing verdicts — Madame Grisi's opinion page 284 



The libretto an obstacle — Mendelssohn dissatisfied with Scribe's Tempest — 
Verdi — First performance ^of 7 Masnadieri based upon Schiller's Die 
Bduber page 287 



Versatility of Mdlle. Lind's genius — Mozart's music — The comedy of Beau- 
marchais — Rigorous exactitude of Mdlle. Lind — An electrical eflect — 
Musical example ^ja(/e 290 



Royal concerts — Swedish songs — Lablache ''wie ehiVater'' — King Leopold 
— ^Where the English heart was won — ^An inestimable privilege 

page 294 



The summer of 1847 — Burnham Beeches — Horse exercise — Wimbledon 
Park — Mr. Lumley's fete at Putney — Tea and supper at Clair ville — 
Jenny Lind entertaining — Moods — In the provinces — English tour con- 


eluded — Mrs. Grote's account — Mr. Edward Lewin — At Norwich — Invi- 
tation to the Bishop's Palace — Choristers' privileges — Letter from A. P. 
Stanley — An independent witness — Departure from England — On board 
the Packet — A last adieu page 298 




Farewell at the Opera-House — At Sans Souci — Royal Kammersangerin — The 
King's letter — Hamburg — Stockholm .... 'page 308 



Love of England — Philantliropic plans — Jenny Lind's published letter in 
explanation of these plans — Voice in full splendour — Operatic perform- 
ances — Concerts — "Norma" her last; Swedish performance on the stage — 
The Bunn verdict — Home — Sympathy between Jenny Lind and Men- 
delssohn — His death — Fund for the Theatre School — Engagement to Herr 
Julius Giinther — Departure — Retrospect . . . page 313 



La Sonnamhula — Clairville — The fourth of May — Chopin at the Opera — 
Chopin's Matinees — Jenny Lind's enthusiasm for Chopin's works — First 
appearance of Jenny Lind as " Lucia " — Analysis and critique — 
Lablache and Jenny Lind in L'Elisir cVAmore — Success of Jenny Lind 
in I Puritani — Qui la voce — The Cadenza — Critique — Her Majesty and 
the Prince Consort constant auditors — Mr. Lumley's profits page 324 



Retirement at Clairville — Herr Berg and family — Trusted friends — Thalberg 
—Mr. and Mrs. S. C. Hall— The Brompton Hospital— Mr. Otto Gold- 
schmidt plays at the Concert in its behalf — Her visit to the Hospital — 
The "Jenny Lind Gallery" — Memorial salver — Panegyric by Mr. 
Disraeli — A long line of noble deeds inaugurated . . page 330 



Letter to Frau von Kaulbach — "In memory of Mendelssohn" — '^Tourn^e in 
the Provinces" — La Figlia at Brighton — Roger's account of it — Benefit 


concert for her Orchestra — Soiree to the band — Address and healths 
proposed by Jenny Lind — Return to London — A worthy monument to 
Mendelssohn — The Soprano part of Elijah written for Jenny Lind's voice 
— Performance of Elijah at Exeter Hall — Times' critique — The Men- 
delssohn Scholarships permanently established . . page 336 



Concerts at IManchester — Birmingham — Yule-Tide at Manchester — Liverpool 
— Second visit to Norwich — The concerts — The Jenny Lind Infirmary for 
Sick Children- -Concert for Balfe's benefit — Worcester Royal Infirmary 
— £10,000 for charity — The Creation at Exeter Hall — Times' critique — 
Liberality of Jenny Lind ...... page 342 



Doubts and perplexities — "The Grand Classical Concerts" — A mistake — 
Reparation — General emotion — Six performances — Her Majesty and the 
Prince Consort — " For the last time " — A delicate memorial page 348 



A soprano drammatico — Compass — The various registers — Art of blending 
— Signer Garcia's success — Veiled tone of middle notes — The FH — The 
pianissimo — The natural voice — Diligent practice — ^Voice not naturally 
flexible — The reward of labour — The shake — The method of breathing — 
The messa di voce — Articulation — Incessant practice — Two interesting 
letters — Singing as a beneficial exercise for the chest — Summary of 
eleven years' operatic work ...... page 355 



Home of the heart — Of her adoption — The Grotes — Mr. Edward Lewin — The 
Bishop of Norwich and Mrs. Stanley — Mary and Arthur Penrhyn Stanley 
— " Jenny Lind's smile " — A letter from Tasmania — ^A Swedish Bible — 
Mrs. Stanley's report to her sister — Mme. Sails Schwabs — Baroness and 
Miss French ........ page 366 





A dramatic genius — The moment of recoil — Reasons — Mrs. Grote's views — 
Tired — Tlie hope of tranquillity — Love of home — Scheme for endowment 
of the Theatre School — Second London season — A crisis — Engagement 
to Herr Gunther broken — A proposal — Clashing standpoints — Ruin 
awaits old friends — Mr. Nassau Senior — A pledge redeemed — Release — 
To Paris and Mrs. Grote — " Tired to the very bones " . jyage 37G 



Tale of singing birds — Song from Spontini's Vestale — At the Swedish 
Embassy — Death of Catalani — Rest enjoined — A visit to Mme. Men- 
delssohn — A grape cure — America on the horizon — Mr. Goldschmidt's 
concert at Hamburg — To Berlin — Royal invitation to Stockholm — Lett(3r 
from King Oscar I. . . . . . . . ^age 393 



An English letter from Jenny Lind — Plan for going to Russia negatived — 
American tour — Barnum — His liberality — Destination of the American 
earnings — Mr. Benedict and Signor Belletti — Children's ball at Lubeck 
— Mr. Goldscbmidt — Hanover — The Queen of Hanover's recollections — 
Excitement at Gottingen — The Burschenschaft Hannovera — At Berlin 
— Letter from Prof. Jiingken — Herr Rellstab's tribute — Lieder — The 
last air of " Susanna " — Hamburg and Mme. Schumann's diary — Jenny 
Lind's aversion to "Society" — Enthusiasm for Schumann's songs — Last 
" notes " of Jenny Lind " An den Sonnenschein " — Munificence to the 
Students' Union at Lund — A bracelet from the Court of Berlin — Reli- 
gious impressions ....... ^age 402 



With the " Gauthiod " — The Daily AUehanda — Froken von Stedingk's record 
— A bunch of forget-me-nots — Presentation of medal struck in her honour 
— Address — Medals, a legacy to the National Museum, Stockholm — 

Singing in the St. Clara Kyrka page 428 





Liverpool Philharmouic Society — Two concerts — Jenny Lind at rehearsal — 
Messiah, her first singing of the Soprano part in England — Great excite- 
ment — Her Swedish heart — The old folks at home — A hurried departure 
— A royal progress down the river — Westward Ho ! — American triumplis 
— Oratorio a congenial field — Letter to parents — To her guardian Herr 
Munthe — Milk soup and a wooden spoon — Death of Fru I^ind — Retro- 
spect of a devoted daughter — Word portrait by Mr. Parker Willis — Lady 
beggars — " Good night "...... page 432 

Last Worls. 
Later Art-life of Madame Goldschmidt — Her death . . 'page 448 

( xix ) 


Portrait, after Magnus Frontispiece 

Croelius, Jenny Lind's First Singing Masteu . . . pa^/e 14 

Facsimile Page of Engagement Book . . To face ixtcje 228 

Jenny Lind in the Character of "Maria" in La Figlia del 

Reggimento ....... To face page 248 

Jenny Lind in the Character of "Alice" in Boherto il 

Diavolo page 267 

Jenny Lind in the Character of "Amina" in La Sonnam- 

hula ............ 279 

Jenny Lind in THE Character of " Norma " . To face page 318 

Mademoiselle Lind, from a Daguerrotype by Kile urn, 

August 1850 To face page 435 

Wynd's Point, Malvern Hills, Madajie Goldschmidt's country home 
IN which she spent much of the last years of her life, and in 
which she died, November 1887 . . . . . page 4G2 





Jenny Lind — the name carries music with it to English ears. 
The memory is very tender and fragrant of her who, to our joy, 
found, for so long, a home among us. And yet it may well be 
questioned whether we English have even yet formed an adequate 
estimate of her gifts and character. 

For what is it which we have in our minds as we recall her 
name ? It is, first, some tale of the wonderful days when all 
London went mad over her singing. "\Ye have heard people tell, 
as their eyes kindle with the old passionate delight, how she came 
tripping over the stage in the Figlia, and how the liquid notes 
came rippling off her lips. We hear of the hours they waited in 
the historic crush at the Opera in the Hay market ; of the feverish 
energy with which they toiled to catch one glimpse of her passing. 
"VYe remember, with a smile, some picture in an old copy of Punch, 
or the Illustrated London News, of scenes in the opera passages 
on a Jenny Lind night. 

And then we add to this memory of that surpassing triumph, 
the thought of one whose purity and simplicity won all hearts to 
love the girl who, in the hour of her overwhelming success, re- 
membered others rather than herself, and poured out her money 
in charities, and devoted her marvellous gifts to the relief of 
poverty and the healing of pain. 

%1 ^ 

3 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. 

That is onr English picture, and it is good and pleasant enough ; 
and it is quite true, so far as it goes. But it is strangely imperfect 
and fragmentary. It assumes that her operatic career is to be 
identified with the brief passage of those London seasons, and 
that her fame is a private possession of our own here in England, 
where she lived and died. There prevails no general conception 
that the English visits were but the latter episodes of a long 
dramatic experience — an experience which had begun, with extra- 
ordinary promise, before she had passed out of her childhood, and 
which had already won to her the same enthusiasm which greeted 
her in England, not only in her own Swedish home and in the 
kindred capital, Copenhagen, but in the great musical centres of 
Germany — Berlin, the Ehine, Leipzig, Munich, and Vienna. 

Nor was it only the enthusiasm of the general public for a most 
beautiful voice, which had been already given her ; but it was the 
authoritative chiefs of the musical art who had signalised in her 
the arrival not only of an exquisite singer, but of a supreme and 
unique artist. The admiration for Jenny Lind was not a mere 
popular fever, such as has now and again followed the steps of 
some favourite of the opera. Its peculiar force lay in this — that 
it held enthralled the highest and best minds in Europe. It was 
the men of genius who recognised in her something akin to them- 
selves. In her native land it had been those who dominated in 
the musical and literary world who were drawn to sing, and write, 
and talk of her — Geijer, historian and poet ; Lindblad, the " Schu- 
bert of Sweden " ; Bishop Thomander, Fredrika Bremer, Topelius. 
At Copenhagen it is the chief artists and poets, and writers and 
sculptors of the day who are profoundly sensitive to her influence 
— Jensen, Hans Andersen, Thorwaldsen, Melbye, CEhlenschlager. 
In Berlin it is Meyerbeer, who can talk of nothing else but this 
marvellous Swedish girl. In London it is Moscheles, who writes, 
" What shall I say of Jenny Lind ? It is impossible to find 
words adequate to describe the impression she has produced. 
This is no short-lived fit of public enthusiasm. So much modesty 
and so much greatness united are seldom, if ever, to be met with." 
It is Thalberg, Taubert, Schumann, who welcome her into the 
elect company of the masters, "who know." It is Tieck and 
Kaulbach at Berlin, it is Grillparzer at Vienna, who are her 
friends and her hosts. And, finally, it is Mendelssohn himself, 
who, as will be seen in the letters that follow, is fascinated by her 


personality, and feels all his gifts roused in kim to compose some- 
thing worthy of her, and is eager and on fire to put out all his 
power in an opera which she may sing, and bends before her 
judgment as to his own place and career, and delights to share 
with her the deepest motives and convictions with which he sets 
to work at the Elijah. Does not our picture of the Haymarket 
crush rather fade into insignificance as a standard of Jenny Lind's 
position as an artist when we recall the high notes of the soprano 
in the Elijah, giving out the cry of Seraphim to Seraphim, " Holy, 
holy, holy. Lord God of Sabaoth," and remember that it was with 
her image before him that Mendelssohn wrote that music — that it 
was to catch the peculiar beauty which he loved in her voice that 
the high F sharps ring out so appealingly in the " Hear ye, 
Israel ? " And have we at all reahsed that she was one of whom 
he could say, " She is as great an artist as ever lived ; and the 
greatest I have known " ? * 

The question that we have put was one which her visible 
presence would at once suggest. Surely those who first saw her 
in much later life must have instinctively felt a jar between the 
popular ideal and the realisation ; not that she was less than their 
expectation, but that she was so much more than the general 
report tended to convey. They had come to be introduced to her, 
murmuring perhaps to themselves some air from the SonnamMla, 
or the Figlia, with which her early fame was associated ; but the 
air was forgotten when they found themselves in her presence ; 
that strong and solemn face, with its deep lines and grey pathetic 
eyes, with its grave dignity, with its serious exultation — what had 
this face in common with an opera of Donizetti ? Charm, 
animation, lightness, grace — these, no doubt, she had at command, 
and she could brim over with gaiety and humour ; but not in 
these lay the impression she produced — not here was the dominant 
note struck. Eather one felt oneself to be facing a character of 
emphatic force and vigorous outlines — a character that it was 
difficult to imagine curbed within the conventional artificialities 
of the Italian drama. It had far more of the impressive pose of a 
powerful tragedienne. Even the name of " Jenny Lind " seemed 
to be inadequate to the occasion. It is a name which English 

* Recorded by Mrs. Grote, in her Note-book, as said to her by 
Mendelssohn in ]816. Cf. Mende-ssohn's words to Hans Andersen, at p. 

B 2 

4 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. 

lips caress with affection, having in it the sense and sound of 
some homely and endearing diminutive. But here, one felt, was 
something more than affectionate diminutives could express ; 
something more than a delicious singer ; something more, even, 
than the pure and simple and beneficent woman. All this there 
certainly was, but with it and above it was that which startles and 
quells and even alarms — something of a rare and majestic type, 
which broke through the ordinary layers which encrust and 
imprison our average human life ; a character solitary and distinct, 
dowered with strange intensity, retaining its free original spon- 
taneity, drawing ever on its own resources, independent and 
somewhat contemptuous of those external tests and standards 
by which the mass of men guide their hesitating judgments. 
Susceptible, indeed, she was, as an artist must be, to outside 
influence and atmosphere, but her individuality had not succumbed, 
or lost its sharp and unique distinction under this liability to 
sensitive impression ; it had never yielded to the grinding years. 
It retained, obviously and undeniably, the rarity and the grandeur 
of genius ; and all who had eyes to see knew, at a glance, that 
here before them was a pilgrim-soul, aloof and uplifted, 

" One of the small transfigured band, 
Whom the world cannot tame." 

It is to justify this high estimate of her powers and gifts that 
this book is written. It starts from the level of Mendelssohn's 
judgment of her. If, indeed, she was the greatest musical artist 
that he had ever known, it is well worth while to ask w^hence her 
capacities took their rise, what was their artistic development, 
what are the special notes and features which were most charac- 
teristic of her genius. The book proposes to respond to such 
questions as these ; and, with this end in view, after lightly 
tracing the records of her birth and early infancy, it offers a 
sketch of her dramatic career from the year 1829-30, when she 
first passed within the doors of the theatre, to the year 1850-51, 
when, after having bade farewell to the stage for ever, she signa- 
lised her new position by her triumphant passage to the Xew 
World beyond the Atlantic. Within those full twenty years she 
was a Child of the Drama in an intimate and peculiar sense. 
Within that time she w^on the experience, under the pressure of 
which the gifts with which she was endowed received their impress. 


and moved forward to their perfection. By the close of those 
years she had gained everything that gave its unique character to 
her artistic genius ; for, not only had she proved her complete 
mastery over all the manifold opportunities and material of the 
operatic stage, but she had already, in earlier days, by her singing 
of selections from the Creation^ and the Seasons, and more 
especially by her marvellous rendering of the soprano part in 
the Elijah, in London, on behalf of the Mendelssohn Scholarships, 
on December loth, 18J:8, attested her supremacy in that domain 
of art which was so singularly congenial both to her special 
capacities and to her spirited temper, and through which she was, 
in after years, to carry such a high message to her hearers — the 
domain of sacred Oratorio. 

Those twenty years, then, contain the secret of her growth as 
an artist. The years that followed, besides the splendid oppor- 
tunities which they brought her of exercising the powers which 
were already matured, added, also, to this, much which matured 
and deepened the woman's inward history — added the good gifts 
which she herself had, by hard necessity, most pitifully lacked in 
her early days — the gifts of tender domestic love, of watchful 
devotion — the background of warmth and confidence which 
belongs to home, and husband, and children. All this would, for 
herself, measured by her own balances, be of priceless worth in 
the estimation of her life, and for those who knew and loved her, 
it would be of inexhaustible interest. But it is the artistic life, 
alone, of an artist, over which the world has a positive and 
undeniable claim. An artist is, in a sense, public property ; his 
or her art makes direct appeal to public judgment ; it offers itself 
as a public endowment to the world at large. Its development, 
its movements, its story, are public facts. And it is due to man- 
kind, when it gives to an artist a generous and unstinted welcome, 
that it should know the peculiar groAvth and training, the advan- 
tages and the perplexities, the hindrances and the helps, through 
which that gift, which was at last so triumphant, won its slow 
way forward out of darkness into light. Such a story may not 
be without profit, if it aids men to understand how^ better to 
cherish and foster those germs of genius which are to be found 
scattered in such strange freedom, amid conditions which seem 
least calculated to rear them in hardihood and grace. And, 
certainly, the tale of Jenny Lind may well be told for the sake of 

6 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. i. 

bearing splendid witness, to all those who feel themselves stirred 
by some inherent native power, of the unconquerable force with 
which a pure and strong individuality, if it be true to the inner 
light and loyal to the outward call, can dominate circumstances, 
however harsh and rude, and can, with a single eye on the far 
goal of artistic perfection, and upheld by faith in God, move 
straight to its aim with an unswerving and irresistible security, 
shaping its passage, amid pitfalls and snares, over this perilous 
earth with a motion as free and sure and faithful as a star that 
passes, in unhindered obedience, over the steady face of heaven. 

Nor will it be without significant interest that those twenty 
years begin with her earliest attachment to the Eoyal Theatre in 
her own home city of Stockholm, and end with her tribute-gifts, 
made out of her wonderful winnings, as thank-offerings to that 
theatre and home to which her heart had so often and so tenderly 
turned. The years of her main artistic growth are those in which, 
whatever her successes elsewhere, Swedish influences dominated 
her life. It was from the Swedish stage that she derived all her 
dramatic training. It was Swedish literature, Swedish literary 
men, who first made her sensitive to the high motives that were 
at work within her. It was in their company, under their 
encouragement, that she learned the truth and power of her 
own spiritual promptings. It was to carry back to her beloved 
Stockholm the rich fruits of her Parisian discipline that she toiled 
in exile. And even though, as an artist could not but do, she 
felt her spirit expand when she found herself taken into the full 
sweep of the musical forces at a great centre like Berlin, still her 
Swedish heart beat true to the old home-country, and it was out 
of her innermost self that she bent herself, as soon as the currents 
of her public triumph carried her far abroad, to the sweet task of 
securing for Sweden, out of the gains that Europe and America 
poured into her lap, records and pledges of her faithful remem- 
brance of the needs and necessities of her own peojjle, and her 

( 7 ) 



'' A Child of the Drama " — so we have named her — and not 
without reason ; for it was within the shelter of the Royal Theatre 
at Stockholm that she first found the comfortable warmth of a 
steady and a tender home, in which her child-heart, with its 
intense affections, could freely and candidly expand. She was 
hardly ten years old when she came under the guardianship of the 
Royal Theatre ; and throughout those nine early years, she was 
a forlorn little pilgrim, often passed about through the hands 
of strangers, and pitifully deprived of that deep security which a 
fixed and stable home-life inbreeds in us through its traditional 
sanctities and immemorial kindnesses. 

Her birth, which took place in the parish of St. Clara, in 
Stockholm, on October 6th, 1820, found both her parents some- 
what under difficulties. Her father, Mclas Jonas Lind, son of a 
lace-manufacturer, seems to have been able to do little or nothing 
towards providing a home for mother and child. He was very 
young, only twenty-two years old ; he had, through lack of 
energy, failed to continue his father's business, and at this time, 
kept the ledgers at a private merchant's house ; in virtue of 
which office he is entered as " Accountant " in the church refirister 
at the baptism of his little daughter, who was christened, on the 
day after her birth, with the name " Johanna Maria." 

Such a post would, no doubt, bring him in but little ; and per- 
haps he was not very likely to make the most of what he got. 
For he was good-naturedly weak ; much given to music of a free 
and convivial kind, such as was widely popular in Sweden at that 
day. Mr. Lind had a good voice, and took an eager part in these 
musical festivities. Such a life, it will be easily understood, does 
not tend to foster steadiness or thrift ; and he was perfectly 
unable to provide mother and child with either lodging or board, 

8 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. ii. 

though he probably contributed to it in some slender way. All 
the practical management had to be left to the energy and 
determination of the mother, who was, at the time, making her 
own way through the world under conditions which were not 
favourable to a baby's entry on the scene. 

She was, herself, of very respectable burgher-stock. Her maiden 
name had been Anna Maria Fellborg; but she had been first 
married, in 1 8 1 0, at the age of eighteen, to a Captain R^dberg. Her 
marriage had proved very unhappy, owing to the bad character of 
the husband ; and after about eighteen months she obtained a 
divorce from him in the High Ecclesiastical Court, the Court assign- 
ing to her, in decisive recognition of her husband's misconduct, 
the custody of a little daughter who had been born to them, called 
Ameha Maria Constantia, together with aliment to the amount of 
half Radberg's income, whatever that might be. She was thus 
thrown upon her own unaided exertions ; but she was a woman of 
great force of character, well-educated for her circumstances, 
resolute not to be beaten. She got along, in one way or another, 
chiefly by means of education ; and in 1820, at Jenny's birth, 
was keeping a day-school for girls, one or two of whom she also 
boarded ; it was one of these little boarders, nine years older 
than Jenny, who became afterwards so helpful to her as companion 
and friend — Louise Johansson, whose name will frequently recur 
in the course of our story. 

A baby would be, no doubt, a most tiresome inconvenience in 
the management of such a household ; and so her mother seems to 
have placed the child, at once, under the care of Carl Ferndal, who 
was organist and parish clerk of the church at Ed-Sollentuna, 
some fifteen English miles out of Stockholm. She was tended by 
this man and his wife for about three years, her mother visiting 
her, it seems, at intervals, and spending with her the summer of 
1821. Owing to some dispute with the clerk, she took Jenny 
back in 1824, probably in the early part of the year, to Stockholm ; 
but it is possible to believe that those early years in SoUentuna 
were not without some influence on the child's character, for they 
seem to have woke up in her, from the very start, that innate and 
instinctive sense of the country which was so noticeable in her. 
The instinct itself is, indeed, native to the Swedes, for whom " the 
country " is a passion ; and this national characteristic held, in 
her, a deep-rooted dominion. Somehow, one felt, in her company, 

1820-30.] CHILDHOOD. 9 

as if she had come out of the country. She was iu close touch 
with all that belongs to a simple peasantry. She knew the tones 
of its songs ; and the rhythm of its dances ; its simplicity, its 
charm, its pathos — ^all were hers. Something of its native depth 
and dignity seemed to have passed into her. She ever felt her- 
self at home in the country ; she breathed there freely ; she 
revelled in its wild flowers, in contrast with cultivated garden- 
flowers for which she had little love. She had an intense delight 
in the songs of wild-birds, with whose ways and habits she had 
intimate acquaintance. She enjoyed, especially, the expanse of 
wide waters. She delighted to be at large ; she hated crowds, and 
the pressure of a city, and the unresting stir of society. She did 
not desire the constant company of many fellow-creatures ; the 
town-instincts did not draw her. Her need of music might bring 
her to live there where she could best satisfy it ; but her heart was, 
naturally, away in country-scenes, where men were not too thick 
and near ; and where God seems closer ; and where the soul can 
feed its own high thoughts, somewhat aloof and alone, unfretted 
by man's insistent noise. Yet, after these first four years, she was 
brought up altogether in a city, winning the sight of the country 
only in her holidays. Something, surely, sank down very deep 
into the tiny baby, as she toddled in and out of the clerk's house, 
in the village of SoUentuna — something, which made her at home, 
ever, amid trees and fields — and something which was still strong 
in her to the end, linking the first days in the Swedish village to 
those last hours when she waited for her death, hid in the English 
home, where she had made for herself a refuge of peace, amid the 
sweet solitude of the Malvern hills. 

Back, however, to Stockholm, she was then quickly brought ; 
and there, in her home, she, most likely, found a new arrival in 
the person of Fru Tengmark, her grandmother on her mother's 
side, now in her second widowhood, who had, hitherto, lived with 
one of her daughters, Fru Perman, at Ostersund, in the north of 
Sweden, but who had now come to press her claim for admittance 
into a certain Home for the Widows of Stockholm burghers, an 
established and endowed institution of some importance in Stock- 
holm. Already, in 1822, the old lady had put in her plea that she 
was unable, at an age which made employment impossible, to save 
herself, by her own eff'orts, from need ; but it was not until 19th 
August, 1824, that rooms were finally allotted to her. Jenny, 



[BK. I. CH. II. 

therefore, it would appear, found her at her mother's house ; and 
she seems to have received from Fru Tengmark a more kindly and 
appreciative treatment than it was in her mother's nature to bestow 
upon her. She always spoke of her grandmother with strong 
admiration and affection. Above all, she took in from her a 
profound impression of religion ; and it was to her that, in after 
years, she was accustomed to trace back those spiritual influences 
which became the very soul of her life. 

It was the grandmother who was the first, to detect the musical 
gifts of the child ; and tliis detection left a profound impression 
on the child herself, as if she, too, then first made a discovery of 
what was in her through the surprise which she found herself 
producing in others. The story formed her earliest distinct 
memory. Coming up from the country to the town, she was 
struck by the music of the military bugles that daily past through 
the street ; and one day when she fancied herself alone in the 
house she crept to the piano on which her half-sister used to 
practise her music, and, with one finger, strummed out for herself 
the fanfare which she had caught from the soldiers. But the 

I— H — I— — j— -(•— b — ^—^ ^ — I — I — i-T — ^ — I — t-^-*!-*- -^^-^— -h 

grandmother was at hand, and, hearing the music, called out the 
name of the half-sister, whom she supposed it to be ; and little 
Jenny, in terror at being found out, hid under the square piano ; 
she was so small that she fitted in perfectly ; and the grand- 
mother, getting no answer to her calls, came in to look, and 
presently discovered her, and dragged her out, and was astonished, 
and said, " Child, was that you ? " and Jenny, in tears at her 

1820-30.] CHILDHOOD. H 

crime, confessed ; but the grandmother looked at her deeply, and 
in silence ; and when the mother came back she told her, and 
said : " Mark my words, that child will bring you help." And, 
after that, the neighbours used to be called in to hear her play. 
As she told the story in later years, she would reproduce most 
vividly the frightened look of the child creeping away to hide ; 
and the significant look of the wonder-struck grandmother as she 
took in that it was indeed the tiny creature of three years old 
who had played the tune. She never forgot the historic 
" fanfare " ; and, as the earliest signal of her after-career, it is 
given in the form in which she herself committed it to the 
memory of her daughter. 

At this day-school Jenny continued with her mother, for three 
or four years ; but, at last, the only boarder, Louise Johansson, 
was taken away, and her mother found herself hard pressed for 
funds. She determined to go out as governess ; and, perhaps 
with this intention, answered an advertisement stating that a 
certain childless couple were anxious to have a child to take care 
of. It turned out that this couple lived in the very same 
Widows' Home, in which Fru Tengmark had rooms, the man 
being the Guardian or Steward of the Home — a thoroughly 
comfortable and respectable position, by right of which he occu- 
pied the Lodge at the gate. This all seemed to fall in admhably, 
as Jenny would have the companionship of her favourite relation. 
So thither she was sent, probably in the year 1828 ; and her 
mother retired from Stockholm and took a place as governess, in 
Linkoping, carrying with her her daughter Amalia Eadberg to 
help her in her educational work. 

For a year and more she lived in the Widows' Home, but 
there is nothing recorded of her life there until we come to the 
famous incident which brought about her removal, and which 
fixed, for ever, the hues of her future career. It came about in 
this fashion. " As a child I sang with every step I took, and with 
every jump my feet made." So she herself records in her letter 
to the editor of the ' Swedish Biographical Lexicon,' written in 
1865 ; * and, apparently one of the forms which the perpetual 
. song took was addressed to a cat, " with a blue ribbon round its 

* The editor of this Biographical Dictionary had written to her to ask if 
she could give him any account of her artistic training. 

12 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. cu. ii. 

neck," of which she was very fond. The rest of the story shall 
be given in her own words as they were taken down by her eldest 
son, to whom she told it at Cannes in the spring of 1887 : — • 
Her favourite seat with her cat was in the window of the 
Steward's rooms, which look out on the lively street leading up to 
the Church of St. Jacob's, and there she sat and sang to it ; and 
the people passing in the street used to hear, and wonder ; and 
amongst others the maid of a Mdlle. Lundberg, a dancer at the 
Royal Opera House ; and the maid told her mistress that she had 
never heard such beautiful singing as this little girl sang to her 
cat. Mdlle. Lundberg thereupon found out who she was, and 
sent to ask her mother, v/ho seems to have been in Stock- 
holm at the time, to bring her to sing to her. And, when she 
heard her sing, she said, " The child is a genius ; you must have 
her educated for the stage." But Jenny's mother, as well as her 
grandmother, had an old-fashioned prejudice against the stage ; 
and she would not hear of this. " Then you must, at any rate, 
have her taught singing," said Mdlle. Lundberg ; and the mother 
was persuaded, in this way, to accept a letter of introduction 
to Herr Croelius, the Court Secretary and Singing-master, at the 
Royal Theatre. Off with the letter they started ; but, as they 
went up the broad steps of the Opera House, the mother was again 
troubled by her doubts and repugnance. She, no doubt, had all 
the inherited dislike of the burgher families to the dramatic 
life. But little Jenny eagerly urged her to go on ; and they 
entered the room where Croelius sat. And the child sang him 
something out of an opera composed by Winter. Croelius was 
moved to tears and said that he must take her in to Count Puke, 
the head of the Royal Theatre, and tell him what a treasure he 
had found. And they went at once ; and Comte Puke's first 
question was, " How old is she ? " and Croelius answered, " Nine 
years old." " Nine ! " exclaimed the Count ; " but this is not a 
creche ! It is the King's Theatre ! " And he would not look at 
her, she being, moreover, at that time what she herself (in her 
letter to the ' Biographical Lexicon ') calls " a small, ugly, broad- 
nosed, shy, gauche, under-grown girl ! " " Well," said Croelius, 
" if the Count will not hear her, then I will teach her gratuitously 
myself, and she will one day astonish you ! " Then Count Puke 
consented to hear her sing ; and, when she sang, he too was 
moved to tears ; and, from that moment, she was accepted ; and 

1820-30.] CHILDHOOD. 13 

was taken, and taught to sing, and educated, and brought up at 
the Government expense. 

So she told the crucial event in her life in her own graphic 
manner. Those stairs were to become familiar enough to the 
little feet Avhich then first felt them. Up that broad flight she 
stepped on to the platform on which, for twenty years to come, 
she was to live out her life, and win her unexampled victories. 
As she pulled at her mother's unwilling hand that day, she took 
the step which determined her whole destiny. 

For, radical as her mother's dislike might be to the stage, yet 
fate, on the one hand, was too strong for her, and, on the other, 
she was pressed sorely by her straitened means. Croelius and 
Count Puke were not going to let their new-found treasure slip 
through their hands. They made an immediate offer to relieve 
the mother of all direct responsibility for her child's maintenance 
and education ; they proposed to adopt her into the School of 
Pupils, which was attached to the Eoyal Theatre, looking to repay 
che expenses, which they risked, through the after-success which 
they anticipated. It was a generous proposal ; it came at a 
moment of pressure when it was almost impossible to refuse the 
opportunity of relief ; and the mother yielded. To her it still 
seemed an act by which, in her own words, used afterwards to the 
Directors of the theatre, she was " sacrificing her own child to the 
stage." But circumstances were unfortunate, and she could not 
but agree. So Jenny passed over from the Widows' Home to 
become a little nursling of the Drama ; and the world owes a debt 
of genuine gratitude to the Directors of the Theatre Royal for so 
quick and bold a recognition of the wonderful gift which lay hid 
in that tiny body. Rare, indeed, in the annals of art is it that 
the official authorities are so swift in their appreciation of strange 
and exceptional genius or so ready to make a venture on its behalf. 
And the chief honour, in a deed most honourable to all concerned, 
must lie with Herr Croelius. It was his insight that saw what 
there was in the " shy, gauche, and ugly, under-grown girl ; " it 
was his courage that laid compulsion on the natural unwillingness 
of Count Puke. " The person," she herself wrote in the letter we 
have already quoted to the editor of the ' Biographical Lexicon,' 
" whom alone I have to thank for the first discernment of my 
gift of song was the Court Secretary Croelius, Singing-master at 
the Theatre Royal. He told me all that which in later years 




[BK. 1. CH. II. 

came to pass." His kindly features, quaint and dignified, are 
recorded in the accompanying sketch, on which she herself, long 
afterwards, wrote her witness to the goodness of him who was 
" the first to discern her gifts," and whose insight and courage 
determined her career. 

So closes her early childhood. Hitherto she has sung as Nature 
bade her, singing to herself, singing to her cat, singing " at every 
step and jump which she made with her baby feet." Something, 
indeed, she may have caught from her mother, who was qualified 
to teach music, and from her half-sister and the day-pupils who 
used to practise on the piano on w^hich Jenny made her first 

famous experiment ; and she would have heard her father, who 
used to come in the evening and sing, while her mother played 
the guitar, when the little one lay probably in bed. And, even 
at Sollentuna, she would have listened, in baby-wonder, to Ferndal 
as he played his organ in the church. But her young life had 
been, as we have seen, strangely wandering, chequered, and un- 
tutored, and nearly everything she had must have come from her 
own instinctive spontaneity. She was now to pass at this tiny age 
into a school devoted to the drama, under the definite training 
and discipline of skilled masters in music. The little foundling 
of Nature was henceforward to become the child of Art. 

( 15 ) 



The Royal Theatre, at Stockholm, into which Jenny Lind passed 
in the September of 1830, was to be, for the next ten years, the 
scene and centre of her life. In it she found a nursery for her 
child-talent ; a school to direct her entire development ; a play- 
ground in which she tasted the delights of companionship ; a 
home, which watched over her with fatherly interest and 
authority ; a stage on which she was greeted with unstinted 
appreciation. It became, for this spell of years, the pivot of all 
her efforts, the focus of all her associations and hopes, the en- 
vironment within which all her gifts opened and discovered 

The theatre was subsidised from the Royal Civil List, and was 
directed and controlled by the office of the Lord Chamberlain. 
Its chief officer was a Royal Director (Intendant), under whom, 
among other officials, was the Chief of the Singing Department. 
The first office was occupied, at the time of Jenny's entry, by 
Count Puke ; while the second was filled by Herr Croelius, who 
was dignified with the title of Court Secretary. The official 
finances came under the supervision of Herr Forsberg, an official 
in the War Office, who was charged with the honoraiy super- 
intendence of the Theatre-School. He took an almost fatherly 
interest in Jenny Lind ; and she retained an intimate and affec- 
tionate friendship with his family, until her death. 

The theatre stands in the heart of Stockholm, close to the 
Norrbro (North Bridge), overlooking the wide basin of the 
Norrstrom : it is a large, handsome building, facing the street 
known as the Gustaf Adolf's Torg, with its basement and double 
stories, on the second of which, in fine and airy rooms, was housed 
the School of Girls attached to the theatre, into which Jenny was 
now introduced, herself the very youngest of all, as we may gather 

IG JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. m. 

from Count Puke's complaint that Croelius was treating the 
theatre as if " it were a creche.'''' 

The " Directors of the Eoyal Theatre," as its authorities were 
called, were in the hahit of boarding out the pupils at some 
certified home, or homes, in the town, under the charge of some 
lady with whom the theatre made terms for food, lodging, and 
educational supervision. And, here, we come to a rather curious 
arrangement, which might, if it had been happily carried out, 
have combined, most fortunately, Jenny's new conditions with her 
natural home-relations. Her mother had moved back to Stock- 
holm just before Jenny's entry at the theatre : she had taken, in 
the spring of 1830, a flat in No. 4 Quarteret Hammaren, in the 
Jakobsbergsgata. Had she taken it for the very purpose of 
boarding the pupils of the theatre ? It is impossible to say : but, 
certainly, this parish of St. Jacob is close at hand ; and, very soon 
after her return, she appears to have been intrusted by the 
Directors with some of their boarders ; and, among them, probably, 
her own little daughter. Indeed, this is made almost certain by 
the fact that Jenny's very earliest recollection of the Theatre- 
School, as she often told her daughter, was her running to the 
school, to keep herself warm, in the cold winter mornings, dressed 
in the vivid smart colours, which her mother and half-sister loved, 
and which she so hated that she used to pull the bright feathers 
out of her bonnet as soon as she was out of sight of home. At 
last, in 1833, the affair took shape in a legal contract, drawn up 
between the " Directors " and Jenny's mother. The conditions of 
the bond are most precise. They begin by stating that they have, 
already, since April, 1832, been paying for * " Jenny Lind's board 
and education," and that, through the progress she has made 
since then, they have " formed the best hopes of her usefulness 
for the theatrical profession," and that they " desire to attach 
this young talent, by more definite conditions, to the Royal 
Theatre." They wish, therefore, to close a contract with her 
mother, with the terms of which, as they carefully insert, " Jenny 
Lind has declared herself satisfied." The child is to be received 
in the capacity of " actress-pupil at the Eoyal Theatre " ; and 
cannot, without the consent of the Directors, be released from 

* " Jenny Lind " appears as the formal name, even in the official document. 
Only once, i.e. in the Confirmation certificate, 1836, does the full name of her 
christening re.ippefir, " Johanna Maria Lind." 

183C-3G.] rUPILAGE. 17 

her engagement until she have, through her after-efforts, " made 
restitution for the care and expense bestowed on her education." 

" During her growing years, and until she is competent to be 
allotted a fixed salary, she is to receive, at the expense of the 
theatre, food, clothes, and lodging, together with free tuition 
in singing, elocution, dancing, and such other branches of 
instruction as belong to the education of a cultivated woman, 
and are requisite for the theatrical profession." The carrying 
out of this instruction is then committed to her mother, who 
engages to teach her " the Piano, Religion, French, History, 
Geography, Writing, Arithmetic, and Drawing." She is also to 
see to all matters of " food, fire, furniture, and clothing, bedding 
and washing " ; and to have for her a tender mother's care. 

For these purposes she will receive from the Directors 250 
Eiksdaler Banco {i.e. 20 guineas), while Jenny herself will be 
given two Eiksdaler Banco every month for pocket-money, out 
of which she is to pay (poor child !) for her own needles and tape 
as well as for silk and cotton towards the mending of her clothes ; 
this will leave not very much over for Jenny's private purposes ; 
but on the other hand she is to be allowed the use of a pianoforte 
belonging to the Royal Theatre ; and moreover, after the 1st July, 
1835, she will actually be supplied with a chest of drawers, 
as well as bedstead and bedclothes, at the special cost of the 
Royal Theatre. Her mother is to see to it that the little pupil 
carefully observes the hours for lessons, rehearsals, and represen- 
tations. The Royal Directors are to judge wlien the tiny 
creature will become competent to enter as actress with a salary 
from the Civil List, after which a new contract will be made, 
by which she will be pledged to remain for ten years in the 
service of the Royal Theatre for such a salary as the Directors, 
having proper regard to her talent and usefulness at the time, 
shall decide to grant her ; but, in case " the aktris-elev Lind, 
contrary to the good hopes entertained on her behalf, were for 
one reason or another to prove of no use to the Royal Theatre, 
or, again, if she were to fail in that obedience she owes to the 
Royal Directors, it shall have full right to discharge her from 
the theatre after three months' notice, in which case the contract 
is to lapse." 

So runs the deed, signed, on behalf of the Directors, by 
P. AYesterstrand, who had succeeded Count Puke as Intendant, 


18 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. m. 

and by Carl D. Forsberg, of the War Office ; and, below their 
signatures, Jenny's mother declares herself to be satisfied with 
the proposed conditions. 

The bond is impressive, first in requiring the "full education 
of a cultivated woman." There, in that phrase, is a distinct 
ideal. It implies that the drama is no narrow, specialised 
function of a mere expert ; but is an affair in which the entire 
mind and character of the artist are concerned, so that the 
theatre itself may well spend its money in securing, not only the 
technical and professional training, but also that the pupil shall 
have the intelligence developed and fertilised, so that it be level 
with the average culture of the time. 

And then, again, the completeness of the more professional 
instruction is well worth notice. Elocution, dancing, the piano 
—all are necessary to perfect the dramatic singing. The memory 
of this completeness in her early theatrical education left an 
indelible impression on Jenny Lind. She felt that she owed to 
it so much that contributed to, and enriched, the full effect of 
her musical gift ; and especially she valued her trained skill in 
expressive and beautiful motion, gained in the dancing school at 
the Theatre Eoyal. She moved exquisitely. Her perfect walk, 
her dignity of pose, her striking uprightness of attitude, were 
characteristic of her to the very last ; and no one can fail to recall 
how she stood, before, and while, she sang. Her grace, her 
lightness of movement were all the more noticeable from the 
rather angular thinness of her natural figure ; and there can be 
no doubt that they threw into her acting a charm which was 
positively entrancing. 

To what degree the full education of a cultivated woman was 
actually attained in her case, it would be hard to exactly define. 
A great musical gift like hers carries culture with it ; and, then, 
she had, all her after-life, revelled in the society of the most 
cultivated men in Europe. So that it is difficult, from knowledge 
of her in later days, to say how much she had gained out of the 
formal instructions given her in childhood. But, naturally, 
these can only have been of an elementary and superficial type. 

Nevertheless, the list of general studies named by the Directors 
was not merely nominal ; pains were taken ; the instruction was 
given. Religion, in spite of the hostile proximity of French on 
the one side, and of the piano on the other, was carefully attended 

1830-3G.J PUPILAGE. 19 

to ; and her Confirmation certificate, given her on May 10th, 
1836, witnesses, by the hand of the rector of St. Jacob's parish, 
Herr Abraham Pettersson, that she passed the public examination 
in the Christian doctrine of salvation " ivith distlnctiony 

For French, she went, probably, to the classes of M. Terrade, 
teacher to the Royal Theatre ; the instruction was slight, but 
a certain degree of conversational French was in free use in 
Stockholm at the -time, and would be habitual round about the 
theatre. Still, before her visit to Paris in 1841, she thought it 
necessary to take special lessons ; and she had, when there, as we 
shall see, to grind at the grammar ; so that her early knowledge 
must have been quite unscientific. 

As to the piano, she, certainly, gained, at some time in her 
early life, a complete mastery over it, which stood her in good 
stead, and afforded her great enjoyment in later years. It was 
true that she had injured her left hand, when young, while 
striking fire with a flint on tinder, which to a certain extent 
crippled its full use ; and, besides, she feared to fatigue and 
contract the vocal organs by serious practice on the piano. But, 
in spite of this, she handled it freely, and finely ; she delighted to 
improvise on it, which she did with a touch of genuine genius ; 
and part of the peculiar charm of her northern songs, as she sang 
them, came to them from her delicious playing of the accompani- 
ment. There seems to be no doubt that, from quite early days, 
and more especially at about the age of sixteen, she could use it 
with easy familiarity ; for, while still at this school, she used to 
" coach " the other girls through the musical parts of the plays, 
beating them out, herself, on the piano. 

She had an eager and intense appreciation of her native litera- 
ture ; but, no doubt, this would be largely due to the influence 
of the Stockholm literary world, into which she was heartily 
welcomed at the time of her first triumphs. 

A specimen of her drawing still remains — some painted flowers, 
done in the exact and formal manner of the day, but bearing 
sufficient witness to her having had the regular lessons ; and 
those, probably, from her mother, who has left designs of the 
same type. 

One accomplishment must be mentioned with special honour, 
her sewing. She worked magnificently, " Madame's stitches 
never come out," is the later testimony from her maid to her 

c 2 

20 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. hi. 

powers. And she loved to do a piece of work, designing it 
herself, and achieving it, with the thoroughness of an expert. 

German, which, afterwards, she loved, and pronounced beauti- 
fully, she did not begin until after her twenty-fourth year. 

English was only slowly won, after her English visits. Her 
usual speech in this country at that time was French. 

So much for her general education and accomplishments ; but 
we have been anticipating the course of our story, to which we 
now return. 

The little girl, then, started in the spring of 1833, with what 
might well seem good hopes. Her career had taken a definite 
shape ; she was provided for, if nothing went wrong, for years to 
come ; she was to receive a regular education ; and a future 
position was assured to her. In the meantime she was to be 
housed, and cared for, by her own mother, in the happy com- 
panionship of other girls. 

Mdlle. Bayard, the lady superintendent of the school, was a 
person much respected ; and the pupils were sure of enjoying care 
and attention from her. Jenny seems to have been exceedingly 
happy both with her, and with the other girls ; but, alas ! her 
trouble came from where we might least expect it — from her 
mother. Was it that her strong and resolute nature had been 
warped by early disappointment ? — that the early marriage w^ith 
Captain Radberg at eighteen, with its rapid disillusion, had left 
serious damage behind it on temper, and character ? Certainly, 
the world had gone hard with her. She had had to fight her way 
along for herself, under the burden of straitened circumstances. 
And she was somewhat proud, and sfcubborn, and self-willed. She, 
probably, fretted at the sense of being below the conditions which 
her burgher blood might expect and justify. From passages in 
her letters, we shall see, that she was quick to resent a slight, and 
hard to pacify. Altogether, from her recorded words and ex- 
pressions, we can feel that she was one for whom things would 
not run smoothly. She was apt to show herself cross-grained, 
violent, harsh ; and this not only to others, but also to her 

Before going on to tell the pitiful story of this early harshness, 
it may be well to remember that the daughter's memory of her 
mother was not all dismal and unkind. Their characters had, 
probably, many elements in common ; her mother's force, her 

1830-36.] PUPILAGE. 21 

mother's haughty persistence reappeared, to some extent, in Jermj 
Lind. She, too, was not apt to take Kfe too easily. And, again, 
she warmly recognised all that she owed, at this early time, to her 
mother's talents, and resolution, and effort. There was, below all 
the divergence, a strong tie of underlying attachment. The actual 
intercourse was, indeed, unhappy ; it was marred by cruelty, and 
narrowness, and suspicion, which left a life-long shadow on the 
child. But it was not without something in it, which would, 
under brighter circumstances, open out into the tenderness and 
gentleness which belong to the name of mother, when once the 
early hardships were passed. 

But it is these bad days of which we have now to speak. It 
appears that the pupils found the treatment they received from 
her too stern and hard ; and they were soon removed to rooms at 
the top of the theatre itself ; and placed under the charge of 
Mdlle. Bayard. Uere they fared excellently ; and were extremely 
happy. Jenny, who remained at her mother's, used to visit them. 
there ; and it was now that she struck up her intimate friendship 
with one of the pupils, Mina Fundin, who became her favourite 
playmate, and with whom she kept up, for life, an affectionate 
relationship. This lady is still alive, residing in Stockholm. It 
would seem that the contrast between the lonely severity of the 
home and the lively society of the theatre-rooms was too much for 
Jenny ; and, at last, after some bout of harsh treatment, on the 
ijOth of October, 18o4, she took matters into her own hands, and 
ran off to Mdlle. Bayard. The Directors saw the merit of the 
proceeding, and allowed her to remain there. But her mother was 
not a person to acquiesce in such an arrangement, and the result 
was a long dispute with the theatre for the recovery of the child. 
It can serve no good purpose, now, to follow the track of this 
unhappy wrangle. It is enough to say that the mother was not 
content, until she had applied the pressure of the law against the 
Directors ; that, at first, she only rested her appeal on the bond 
with the theatre, and that, when this failed, in January, 1835, she 
set to work with a more determined effort. Mr. Lind, who had, 
hitherto, kept in the background, was called to the front to take 
part in the struggle ; and, together, they combined to make good 
their full parental claims over their child. Such a claim, once 
formally established, and put in force, was, necessarily, irresistible ; 
and the theatre was obliged to surrender Jenny, by a final 

22 JENNY LIND. [ek. i. ch. hi. 

judgment of the Royal Upper Town-Court, on the 23rd of June, 
1836 ; and was, also, directed to recognise the existing contract of 
1833 as still standing, and to pay, therefore, to the parents the 
stipulated sum for Jenny's keep, which was owing from January 
1st, 1835, to April 1st, 183G, together with lawyer's fee, etc. 
There the quarrel ended ; on June Gth the theatre notified to the 
parents that Jenuy would return to their house on July ] st, to be 
boarded at the old terms ; and both Mr. Lind, and his wife, 
countersigned the notice. 

It is pleasant to think that, in spite of these most uncomfort- 
able proceedings, the little creature over whose person home and 
theatre were fighting so strenuously was spending a most happy 
time at Mdlle. Bayard's ; and it is delightful to read the brimming 
letter which she WTote, in the very thick of the wrangle, in August 
1835 — the very first word that we actually possess from her pen. 
It is written from Skytteholm, a place lying on one of the inland 
lakes which, in Sweden, are called by the pleasant name of 
*' Sweet-Waters," w^here the pupils were taken for their summer 
holidays. It is addressed to the mother of her little playfellow, 
Mina Fundin — the Mina mentioned in the letter, who has made 
such desperate resolutions from which she is only saved by the 
state of her nerves and the motherhness of the " sensible old 
woman." With Mina's mother, Jenny is evidently on the brightest 
and most affectionate terms. Here is the letter : — 

"Skytteholm, 5 Aug., 1835. 

"My dear Little Aukty, 

" Pardon me for taking the liberty to write to you — but — 
I really don't know what to write about ! Yes, I know ! I 
hope that my little Aunty and Lotta are quite well ; — ive are 
flourishing, all of us ! 

" Ah ! thank God ! soon we return to town ; I long dreadfully, 
for now there is no more fun down here. You must not feel 
uneasy, Aunty, about Mina going to drown herself, for she has 
not yet done so, because she is too nervous even to go near the 
water — Oh, yes ! — occasionally she does run the risk of it, but / 
will look after her — /, who am a sensible, old woman. 

" We eat fruit in such quantities that sometimes we are not able 
to walk, but we can't get so very much, for the simple reason that 
there are so few ripe ones ; we only eat currants, and those are 
most wholesome, aren't they ? 

" Adieu, kind little Aunty ! Do not mind my having written so 

1830-36.] PUPILAGE. 23 

badly, I shall write better another time. I venture to enclose 
myself in Aimty's friendship. 

" Yours truly obliged, 

"Jenny Lind." 
" Oh ! how beautifully written ! " 

The applause of the last phrase refers to the signature, which 
is written with a vigorous flourish. The tone of the letter is 
delicious, — simple, gay, and tender. They must have been bright 
days out of which such words came ; and it must be . confessed, 
we fear, that some of the brightness was probably left behind 
her, on the day when she returned to her own mother's house 
on the 1st of July. The nature of the return, to begin with, 
was not likely to be very auspicious ; and, then, there was the 
partial loss of her merry companions. However, we hear of 
nothing to show that things did not go smoothly. 

And, in the meantime, too, success is coming, and continually 
growing, to enliven, and enhearten the days. Whatever the 
struggle, and trouble, that her life brought in it, certainly of one 
grief, which is apt to darken the days of young artists, she was 
absolutely free. She was never troubled by a lack of recognition. 
From her earhest childhood, her gifts were felt to be sm-passing ; 
and this feeling never flagged. From the beginning of her 
dramatic career to its close, it is one unbroken triumph ; and she 
had this singular good fortune of finding her way to the exercise 
of her gifts, before a sympathetic public, as soon as she had them 
to exercise. We shall see, in the next chapter, the way in which 
this happened, and the direction which her success took. We 
shall see that this risk on her behalf, which the Theatre Royal 
ran, and to which w^e have ventured to give cordial praise, was 
one which justified itself, by practical results, almost as soon as it 
had been run. The theatre had hardly sown before it foimd 
itself reaping. The child, whom Count Puke thought more of 
an age for a creche than a Eoyal Theatre, was already, before she 
was in her teens, bringing grist to the Royal mill. 

24 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 



We have seen that it was the child's musical talent that, first, 
evoked the wonder of her neighbours. The stupor of the grand- 
mother at the baby's fanfare on the piano ; the amazement of 
the passers-by at the song which was being confided to the ears of 
the patient and appreciative cat ; the tears that started to the 
eyes of Croelius — these are the earliest signals of her marvellous 
gifts. But we, now, have to recognise a new characteristic, which 
was almost more phenomenal than her singing. Indeed, it may 
well be doubted whether, during her first ten years at the Royal 
Theatre, it did not surpass her voice in witnessing to the presence 
in her of a unique genius. This was her dramatic power. Pre- 
cocious and extraordinary as her child-voice had been, both in 
versatility and in tenderness, yet her early woman's voice did not, 
at first, exhibit or develop its after-gifts of high sonority. It was 
still thin, and veiled. Rather, at that time, the secret of her 
success lay in that intense and irresistible identification of herself, 
voice and all, with her part, which is the highest proof of dramatic 

In later years, those, who heard her sing in opera, would often 
say, that if she had not been the greatest singer in the world, 
she would have been the greatest actress. And we shall see the 
evidence for the truth of this anticipation, if we glance over the 
early records of her performance at the theatre ; and we shall, 
also, understand through what years of actual experience it was 
that she had obtained that thorough mastery over all the detail 
and method of the stage, which made her acting so consummate. 

The long list of her performances, kept in the records of the 
Royal Theatre, reveal to us that already, in the very first year of 
her admittance to the school, as a little child of ten years old, 
she made her appearance on the boards, on November 29th, 1830, 

1830-37.] CAREER. 25 

in a play called The Polish Mine, described as a " Drama, witli 
Dance " ; and in which she played the part of " Angela." 
" Angela " is a little girl of seven, who has been carried off to a 
wild castle in the hills by a tyrant lord, to amuse and cheer her 
mother, whom he had seized and shut up as his prisoner. The 
child is to amuse the company at a grand fete in the castle, and 
contrives, in an improvised dance, to convey to her mother 
comfort and affection. But, on recognising her father disguised 
among the guests, in pursuit of his wife, a cry of surprise escapes 
her ; the father is detected, and all three, father, mother, and 
child, are thrown into prison in the Mine. There little Angela 
succeeds in getting hold of the warder's key while he is speaking 
with her mother, and in opening the barrier without being 
discovered. The father and mother are thus enabled to meet, 
and to fly, with their child, from the Polish Mine ; after a series 
of exciting adventures, they make good their escape ; all is made 
right. It is a part full of occasions for the brilliant little dancer, 
whose ingenuity and skill are the key to the plot. The play was 
repeated five times in the December, and twice more in the 
January following. On March 18th, 1831, she made her first 
appearance in the play that is noticed in the newspaper quoted 
below ; it was called ' Testamentet, a Drama,' in which her part 
was that of " Johanna." She appeared, in this character, for the 
third time on April 14th, 1832, and on the 4th April, 1832, we 
have the following notice of her appearance in a periodical for 
literature and art, called Heimdall. The paper begins by an 
apology for not having, long ago, put on record the wonder 
that had already for some time been aroused. " AVe take this 
opportunity," it writes, " of performing a long-neglected duty — 
that of calling attention to a young pupil of the theatre, Jenny 
Lind, only ten or eleven years of age, who has several times 
appeared in the play Testcwientet which preceded Fidelio. She 
shows, in her acting, a quick perception, a fire and feeling, far 
beyond her years, Avhich seem to denote an uncommon disposition 
for the theatre." 

This play. The Will, is a charming piece by Kotzebue ; and the 
part taken by Jenny is one which would give delicious opportuni- 
ties to her arch and winning grace. It is impossible, as one reads 
the part, not to picture her every look and gesture, so admirably 
is it suited to qualities in her which were vividly present to the 

26 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 

very last. We venture to extract a scene from it. The plot 
turns on an old Colonel wounded in the wars, who has been 
carried, unknown to himself, to the house of a daughter whom 
he had utterly cast off for a marriage of which he disapproved. 
He is full of gratitude for the care with which he has been 
nursed. His heart is stirred with a longing for home : he is 
longing to leave his fortune to his kind nurses ; but the daughter, 
who has recognised him, keeps ever out of sight ; and he _only 
sees her two children, Henriette and Johanna. Henriette, the 
eldest, having been told by her mother who this old man is, has 
been singing him a song which he had loved in long-past days, 
" sweet, and holy Nature ! " He has broken down under the 
strain of bitter memories : and he has to beg her to cease singing, 
and to send him her little sister, for " the gracious child knows 
so well how to [charm away all bitterness." After a sad mono- 
logue, bewailing the loneliness in which he is drawing near to 
that last hour, when there will be no one ever to say over him, 
" Here lies a brave man in peace ! " Johanna (Jenny) comes 
springing into the room, saying : — 

" Good morning, dear old Colonel ! — ' Mister Colonel,' I ought 
to have said ! My mother scolds me, if I don't ! " 

" Col. Good morning, little Jacky ! Come, and be merry with 
me ! Do some of those funny tricks, that you are so fond of ! 
And call me ' Colonel,' plain and simple, please ! — Or, what do 
you think of calling me ' Papa ' ? 

" JoH. Papa ? Oh ! that I could never do ! My papa is in 
the picture upstairs, and he is so beautiful, and young, and 

" Col. Well, I own I am not young and beautiful : but 
kindly ! — that I am, indeed ! Don't you believe it ? 

" J OH. Oh yes ! very often you are ! 

" Col. You must remember how ill I was : sick people cannot 
be very kind to others : but now, you shall always find me bright 
and good, right until I go away. 

" JoH. What ? Must you go away from us ? 

" Col. Certainly : in a few days. 

" JoH. Are you in earnest ? 

" CoL. I am, indeed. 

" JoH. Oh ! don't go away from us ! We all love you so 
dearly ! 

" Col. Do you love me ? 

1830-37.] CAREER. 27 

" JoH. Oil ! yes ! At first, you know, I was very frightened 
of you ; but now — not a bit ! 

" Col. And how did you get over your fright ? 

" JoH. Why, because when you are as kind as you were, no 
one could help being fond of you. And when you are dull, and 
cross, then I just take myself off. 

" Col. Ah ! then, to-day, my Jacky will not take herseK off, 
will she ? 

" JoH. Yes, I will, if you ever again call me ' Jacky ' ! that is 
a dreadful name ! 

" Col. Why dreadful ? 

" JoH. I don't know. But there are such lovely names in the 
books which my sister reads ; and specially nice English names, 
like Liddy, and Betty, and Arabella ! Oh ! if only they had 
asked me before I was baptized, I would have chosen the very 
loveliest of them all ! 

" Col. It was, really, a great shame that they did not ask you. 

" JoH. My mother says, that she only had two names to give 
to her daughters, because my grandfather had but two names, 
John, and Henry ! 

" Col. John Henry ! Why, those are my names, too ! 

" JoH. Once I cried over the stupid name, Jacky. But, then, 
my mother began to cry, too, and she said : * Dearest child, you 
bear a name which reminds me of a noble man ! ' Now, I don't 
know at all why I should remind her of him. But then mother 
began to cry ; so, you see, since then, I don't take any notice of it ! 

" Col. Well, let me try and teach you why you have the name. 
I am too old, you say, to be your father, so will you try to think 
that I am your dear old grandfather, John Henry ? 

" JoH. Yes ! All right ! But then, you know, you must 
never go away ! 

" Col. Or will you come with me, when I go ? 

" JoH. Away from mother ? Oh ! what a horrid thing to do ! 

" Col. Well, but, some day, you will have to leave her, when 
you go to be married. 

" JoH. Ah ! yes ! when I am married ! I say ! have you got 
a son ? 

" Col. Why ? 

" JoH. Why, because, if he is nice, I would marry him, and, 
then, we might all stop together. 

" CoL. No, Jacky ! I have no son — no child at all ! 

" JoH. Poor old man ! 

" Col. {sighing). Yes, indeed ! 

" JoH. It's a shame ! A horrible shame ! I should have been 
so glad to have married your son ! 

28 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 

" Col. Why so glad ? 

" JoH. Why, because you are rich ; and, then, I should be 
rich ; and I could help my sister ! 

" Col. What is there that she needs ? 

" JoH. I'll tell you. Only, you must promise never to betray 
me ! 

*' Col. I promise faithfully. 

" JoH. Well, you know, she loves the head-ranger, and the 
head-ranger loves her ; and my mother says that it is all right : 
she often says, ' It would be the joy of my old age ! ' But he 
has nothing, and we have nothing : so nothing can be done. 

" Col. Dear me ! Is that how it stands ? 

" JoH. Ah ! if only I could manage that mother should be 
able to say to me ' You are the joy of my old age ! ' That 
would be lovely ! I declare that if only I could do that, I would 
not mind calling all my OAvn children, ' Jacky ! ' 

" Col. Listen to me, dear child ! I have an idea. If it was 
in your power to make your sister rich enough to marry the 
head-ranger, would you not do it ? 

" JoH. Of course I should ! 

" Col. Well, then, you can do it. 

" JoH. You are only laughing at me ? 

" CoL. No ! I promise you ! Come away with me ; be my little 
daughter ; and I will give your mother enough money to buy 
this joy for her old age ! 

" JoH. Oh ! that's very hard ! Where shall we have to go ? 

" CoL. Far, far away from here. 

" JoH. Oh dear ! and shall I never see my mother again ? 

" Col. Oh yes ! I shall let you have a beautiful carriage with 
four beautiful horses, and you will jump into it, and cry ' Coach- 
man, drive me quick to mamma ! ' 

" JoH. AVill you really give me that ? 

" Col. I promise it. 

" JoH. And I shall, then, bring joy to my mother's old age ! 

" Col. Yes, you alone ! of your own self ! 

" JoH. Come along, you dear old Colonel ; I will be your 

" CoL. Away we'll go, my Jacky ! Only wait a minute ! I 
must go and arrange things. {Goes out.) 

" JoH. {alone). Oh ! How happy mother will be ! and my 
dear sister ! and the head-ranger ! And it shall be a splendid 
wedding ! and we will have the musicians to play ! Oh yes ! 

1830-37.] CAREErw. 29 

we must have musicians ! My old man must not refuse me that, 
or else I won't go with him ! Oh dear ! I wish I was not 
going ! I shall cry so ; and the others will cry too ; for they all 
love me ! — Ah ! but then just think what it will be when I come 
back in the beautiful carriage with four horses ; and say ' Coach- 
man, drive me home ! ' and away we go, over stock and stone, 
until we draw up here at our own house, prr ! prr ; and mother 
will put out her head at the window ; and cry ' Jacky is come ! 
Jacky is come ! '" 

Such was the delightful part played by the tiny little girl of 
ten years old. Every word in it would suit her — the merry 
quickness of the child, the sudden turns from gaiety to tears, and 
back again to gaiety, the mysterious confidences, the prattling 
innocence, the brimming affection. No wonder that the HeimdaU 
was fascinated. 

In the year preceding this notice, 1831, she had played, for three 
nights, in what is called by the serious name of "an historic 
drama " — Johanna de Monffaucon^ in which she took the part of 
" Otto " ; and, besides this, had appeared five times as " Jean- 
nette," in a " Comedy, with Dance," called the Pasha of Suresne. 
During the following year, 1833, she appeared in twenty-two 
performances — her new characters being " Louise " in a bagatelle 
in one act, called The Students of Smdiand, and " Georgette," in a 
drama of five acts, called Thirty Years of a GamUer''s Life, which 
ran for ten nights during Xovember and December ; and was 
constantly repeated in 1834. This early brilliancy was apparently 
at its very height in 1834 — when, on June 24th of that year, a 
paper, The Daihj AlleJianda, seems quite bewildered by the child's 
extraordinary power. " In the play known in its French form 
as Lafausse Agnes " (so it writes) " there is a child's part which 
is rendered with an almost incomprehensible, a really un- 
natural cleverness by Jenny Lind." This cleverness must 
indeed have been almost incomprehensible : for it leads the critic 
to indulge in an anxious complaint that the little girl's " tempera- 
ment seems readily to lean to everything that is not of a serious 
character." So absolutely had she disguised herself by the 
freedom with which she had thrown herself into her part ! All 
that deep impressive seriousness, which was the innermost note of 
her being, had absolutely vanished out of sight ; and the paper 
feared for her light-headed frivolity ! Yet, in calling, as it does, 

30 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 

upon Jenny's instructors and guardians to see to it that the 
danger be averted, and that "her happy natural gifts, high- 
spirited as they arc, should be carefully and judiciously dealt 
with," the Daily Allehanda was giving proof of a tender and 
noble solicitude for the good guidance of the child. And it did 
more. For it goes on to complain of the immoral character 
of this play, in which she was allowed to appear ; it speaks 
strongly of the deep ethical corruption of the society which it 
portrayed, and of the responsibility incurred by those who per- 
mitted a child to put out her powers in a part so full of 
" coquetry, boldness, and heartlessness." It does honour to 
the Press of Stockholm that it should have made this protest. 
As we read it, we shudder at the terrible perils which w^ere 
swarming round the child. Here was a case in which her 
very innocence of evil, at that tender age, allowed her to revel 
in the fun and the audacity of such a character, without 
any of the checks which a knowledge of the villainy in it 
w^ould have suggested to her pure mind. Her very innocence 
is used to encourage her to abandon herself to the fling and 
swing of the scandalous play. So perilous was her path ! Yet 
along it she moves, untainted and unhurt, in the security of 
the pure in heart, with such sure feet as those with which, on 
Eaphael's canvas, St. Margaret passes, without an effort or a fear, 
in maiden gentleness, over the writhing Dragon and through the 
gate of Hell. 

She appeared, altogether, twenty-two times in 1834, and 
twenty-six times in 1835 — the principal new character being 
" Pierrette," in a drama from the French in three acts, called The 
Foster-Son, which ran for thirteen nights in the course of the 
year ; and " Leonora " in a vaudeville, with music by Berwald, 
called The New Garrison, 

In several of these plays, there seems to have been music and 
dancing ; possibly, too, some singing from Jenny. At any rate, 
she sang publicly at some concerts in the theatre, during these 
years ; taking part in a duet from La Straniera with her master 
Herr Berg, on November 24th, 1832 ; and in a trio, on 
November 28th, 1835. And long before this there appear to 
have been performances given, in private rooms, by Herr Berg, 
in which to exhibit her phenomenal talent, the news of which 
spread abroad : for, in the Heimdall, the periodical from which 

1830-37.] CAREER. 31 

we have already quoted a description of her acting, there is the 
following record given, in its number for April 24th, 1832 : — 

" Her (i.e. Jenny's) remarkable musical gift, and its precocious 
development, have made quite a sensation in the circle in which 
she has appeared, guided by her master, Herr Berg. Her memory 
is as perfect as it is sure ; her receptive powers as quick as they 
are profound. Every one is, thus, both astonished, and moved, 
by her singing. She can stand a trial, in the most difficult 
solfeggi and the most intricate phrases, without being bewildered ; 
and whatever turn the ' improvisation ' of her master may take, 
she follows his indications with the liveliest attention, as if they 
were her own. Nothing can be more interesting than to hsten 
to Herr Berg with this little pupil by his side ; and one is tempted 
to believe in a magnetic ' rapport ' between them, so entirely do 
both seem to be one soul and one heart. 

" If this young genius does not ripen too prematurely, there is 
every reason for expecting to find in her — although alas ! not 
until the distant future — an operatic artist of high rank." 

This is a fascinating little glimpse of the child of twelve, 
absorbed in her teacher, miraculously interpreting and reproducing 
his mind. Her innate originality of character did not at all stand 
in the way of her rapid assimilation as a pupil. Her musical 
genius carried her into the very heart of what was set before 
it, with extraordinary rapidity of insight. We shall find many 
instances of this. And, here, it leads us to dwell, for a few 
moments, on the name of this, her early master. 

Berg had succeeded Croelius, as Head of the School of Singing, 
within a year, or so, after her entry at the theatre. Already, in 
April, '32, he had made the child entirely his own, in the manner 
described in the periodical. Croelius had the merit of first 
believing in her ; but it is Berg, who is to be credited with her 
entire training for the Swedish stage. He, evidently, took the 
most intense and devoted interest in her from the very first ; and 
she became the intimate friend of his home. He was a clever 
and cultivated musician, confident, sanguine, and eager ; well 
considered in Stockholm society. Her own feelings towards her 
first teacher cannot be better expressed than in the words wliich 
she wrote, long afterwards, to her guardian, Judge Munthe, in 
November, 1849. " Herr Berg arrived so unexpectedly ! I was 
delighted to see him ! Oh ! God ! those memories of childhood ! 

32 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 

At this unexpected meeting with him, remembrances of all kinds 
from my early years arose in my soul ! We all, indeed, have our 
shortcomings, that is certain — therefore, let us cover them over ! 
Herr Berg is one of my nearest friends ; and gratitude is a 
feeling that I love, and desire to cultivate. . . . And old friend 
Berg is interwoven with the history of my whole life." 

Such, then, was her master ; alert, talkative, confident, with a 
quick-eyed face, not unlike Schubert in type ; too pressing, 
perhaps, in his zeal for his pupil, to estimate the overstrain on 
her powers — an overstrain, forced on, no doubt, by theatrical 
necessities behind him, but constantly noticed and feared by the 
Press of the day. 

In 1836, there is no record of Jenny Lind appearing at any 
concert ; but her dramatic engagements continue, and some of 
them, with music and singing. And, especially is to be noted 
her first attempt in an opera, during the month of February, 
when she played " Georgette," for four nights, in a " grand opera," 
by Lindblad, called Froiiddrernc. 

Apart from this, the year was not specially signalised ; she 
made rather fewer appearances, only eighteen during the year, 
her new parts being " Emilie " in a comedy with song from the 
German, called The New Blue-Beard — and " Carolina " in a big 
drama in five acts of Kotzebue's, called The Unhiown Son ; and 
just at the close of December, she took the part of a girl in 
Sacchini's opera CEdijms in Athens. 

The 1st of January, 1837, marks a new departure. According 
to the contract of 1833, with the mother, the Directors were to 
decide at what date Jenny Lind should be given a fixed salary, as 
actress at the Royal Theatre. Hitherto the money paid her by 
the Directors has been simply an arrangement for her keep ; she 
has performed, on their behalf, under this arrangement one 
hundred and eleven times, besides her appearances at concerts. 
It is now considered time to give her a fixed and salaried position, 
after which she is still bound, by the original contract, to be in 
the service of the Directors for ten years, if they require it of her. 
Her salary is fixed at 700 R. D. Banco ; about £G0 a year.* 
And, certainly, she was to do a lot of work, in the course of 

* In estimating these figures concerning her fixed salary, it must be 
remembered that there was, besides, "Play-money," i.e, a bonus given on 
each appearance. 

1S30-37.] CAREER. 33 

the year, in discharge of licr obligation? under the bond. She 
jippeared ninety-two times on the boards ; in twelve new 
characters. Four of the pieces were produced for the first time 
in Stockholm. The parts varied greatly in character : " Betty," 
in a drama, with music, chorus and dancing, called Jenny 
Mortimer ; " Zoe," in a comedy of that name, by Scribe ; and 
*' Marie," in another of his comedies called Adele de Senanges ; 
" Justine," in a verse-comedy of five acts, from the French, called 
The Jealous Wife ; " Louise," in a burlesque comedy, with song, 
by Nicolo Isouard, called the The Ludicrous Encounter ; " Rosa," 
in a two-act comedy by the Princess Amelia of Saxony, called The 
Bride of the Cctpitcd ; " Erik," a boy's part in a drama, with music 
and dancing, called The Fisherman ; " Laura," in The Sentinel, 
a comic opera by Rifaut ; " Fanny," in 3Iarie de Sivry, a drama 
in three acts. Here was a great deal of bright and light business ; 
and besides this, there was work of a more serious kind : " Emma," 
in a three-act tragedy in verse, by Delavigne, called The Sons of 
Kiufj Edward; " Clara," in The Bride of the TomI), an historical 
drama in five acts, which ran for eight nights on end ; " Dafne," 
in Victor Hugo's Angelo Mcdipieri ; and " Friiulein Neubrunn," 
in The Death of Wcdienstein. Two performances were given of 
Mozart's Zauherfldte, in wdiich she sang as " Second Genius." 

Evidently, she had a wide range of characters ; and she must 
have accumulated a mass of dramatic experience. It will be 
noticed that this is all in her sixteenth and seventeenth years ; and 
this disposes of a familiar rumour that, at that period, her voice 
entirely failed, and that she had to lie by. There was no positive 
pause in her work. The year 1830 was, no doubt, one in which 
she did least ; but, then, it was the very year in which she first 
used her voice in a grand opera. The year 1837 was, as we see, 
a time of growing, and incessant work, and is the first year of her 
offi,cial engagement. The rumour arose from her ow^n pronounced 
opinion that it is a time at which a girl's voice absolutely requires 
rest ; to which opinion she had been brought by her bitter ex- 
perience of the damage done to her own vocal organs by the 
absence of this needful relaxation. She ought to have had the 
repose for quiet and orderly growth, which all need, and which 
she was not allowed. 

Before 1837 quite closed, a noticeable event took place, full of 
prophetic meaning to our heroine. A new name is becoming 


34 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. iv. 

important in the operatic world, — the name of Meyerbeer ; his 
fame stands high in Berlin and Paris ; and the Royal Theatre is 
anxious to test the prospects of his popularity in Stockholm. So 
a concert is arranged, in which a part of the fourth act of Robert 
de Normandie should be tentatively given. Oddly enough the 
part of the opera selected for the experiment was one that is not 
generally given when the work is performed as a whole. It is the 
scene in which, after a chorus of women, the Princess Isabella 
recognises the face of the girl, Alice, as she enters ; and learns 
from her what she bears to Roberto from his mother. Four 
performances of this excerpt were given in the course of that 
December ; and Jenny Lind was chosen to sing the short passage 
in which " Alice " appears. There is a melodious phrase, twice 
repeated, in the recitative, and a pathetic cadence at its close. 
The tradition still lives of the instantaneous effect produced by 
her on those who heard it. It was a short flight ; she just felt 
her wrings ; she was to hear much more of Meyerbeer, and of 
" Alice." For the moment all is still again. It is but a passing 
trial. We must wait a little longer. 

( 35 



Yet it is to be but a very little longer ; for we now come to the 
year wbich was, to her, the epoch, the turning-point of her career. 
It had opened with an immense run, for twenty-two nights, all 
through January and February, of a French melodrama in two 
acts. The Americmi Monkey^ in which she played " Hyacinthe." 
Then followed three performances of the serious tragedy, in verse. 
The Sons of King Edward, And then, on the night of March 7th, 
came the moment of moments. " I got up, that morning, one 
creature : " she herself often said ; " I went to bed another 
creature. I had found my power ! " And, all through her life, 
she kept the 7th of March with a religious solemnity ; she would 
ask to have herself remembered on it with prayers ; she treated it 
as a second birthday. And rightly ; for, on that day, she woke 
to herself ; she became artistically alive ; she felt the inspiration, 
and won the sway, which she now knew it was given her to have 
and to hold. 

She achieved this in the character of " Agatha " in Weber's 

She used often to tell how, in studying this part in preparation 
for her delnt, with Madame Erikson, one of the chief leaders and 
teachers in the school, of whom she Avas very fond, and who did 
much for her, she, one day when they two were alone, was seized 
with a desire to satisfy her teacher, and put her whole soul and 
power into her portrayal of the character — only to be met with 
dead silence. " Am I, then, so incapable and so stupid ? " she 
thought, till she saw the tears trickling down her teacher's face ; 
and all Madame Erikson could say was, " My child, I have nothing 
to teach you ; do as Nature tells you ! " 

The day of her deJjut was an agony ; but, with her first note, 
she felt all fear and nervousness disappear. She had discovered 

D 2 

^Q JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

herself ; and, certainly, the discovery was absolute. The ex- 
perience of that night was final. " She had found her power." 
That is her own record of what happened on that evening. She 
who was perfectly accustomed to a public audience, and to the 
applause of a publfc audience, still felt that all this success had 
never shown her the real potency which it was in her to wield. 
Still, for her, that 7th of March was a disclosure, a revelation, a 
new thing. It was not so much a better edition of that which 
had preceded it. It was a step out into a new world of dominion. 
She knew, at last, where it was that she stood ; and what she was 
to do on the earth. She learned something of her mission. For, 
to her religious mind, the discovery of a gift was the discovery of 
a mission. She saw the responsibility with which she was charged, 
through the mere possession of such a power over men. The 
singer, with the gift from God — that is what she became on that 
night. " She went to bed a new creature." 

The memory of that eventful moment remained permanently 
recorded in the shape of two silver candlesticks, presented to her 
by the Directors of the Koyal Theatre, " in remembrance of March 
the 7th," so the inscription ran. It was the first of the many 
tributes that were made her in her life ; and it had, as such, a 
peculiar value which no after-gift could exceed. She held those 
silver candlesticks in special affection ; and left them, at her 
death, to her daughter. 

The Freischutz was given nine times in the course of 1838 ; 
but, for most of the year, she returned to her old parts which she 
had already played, appearing in melodrama, comedy, and bur- 
lesque. In all, she had made, for her salary of £G0, seventy-three 

In 1839, her success bore its fruit in a rise of the salary to 
900 Pt. D. Banco. She appeared, in the course of the year, only 
fifty-three times ; but, perhaps, this is to be explained, by the 
growing importance of her operatic parts, and the gradual 
dropping of the light comedy characters in which she had figured 
hitherto. She sang the part of " Laura " in an opera called Le 
Chateau de llontmero, by Dalayrac. She repeated " Agatha " four 
times. She appeared in a character which she greatly enjoyed, 
and in after years frequently repeated — that of " Julia " in 
Spontini's Vestale. 

But the event of the year was her appearance in her traditional 

1838-40.] DISCOVERY. 37 

part of " Alice " in Rohcrfo, by which she was destined to win her 
most memorable triumphs. It was a character in which her 
si3lendid dramatic power fused itself with her gifts of voice, so as 
to leave an indelible impression of force and of beauty on the 
imagination of those who saw and heard. It was a part which 
drew on her own vivid personality, with its intensity of faith, 
with its horror of sin, with its passionate and chivalrous purity. 

She opened, in this part, on May 10th and, evidently, with over- 
whehning effect ; for she has to play it for twenty-three times 
before the year is out, and to repeat it for twenty-three more, in 
the following year. It is on " Alice " that the interest is con- 
centrated, in Stockholm drawing-rooms, when Jenny Lind's name 
is announced as a guest. She will have to sing the part sixty times 
on those same boards before she has done, between the 10th of 
May on which she first sang it, and the 30th of December, 1843, 
when she will give her last performance of it in the Eoyal 

Bournonville, a distinguished composer of operatic ballets, in 
Copenhagen, of whom we shall hear more later on, writes in his 
' Theatrical Life ' of this performance : — 

" She was only eighteen when I first heard her, but had already 
so eminent a talent, that her performance of ' Alice ' could be com- 
pared to the best I had seen and heard in Paris. Although her 
voice had not yet reached the high development it afterwards 
attained, it already possessed, even then, the same sympathy, the 
same electric power, which now makes it so irresistible. She was 

The year 1839 was marked by several appearances at concerts 
in the Eoyal Theatre ; and on May 12th, she gave her first 
great concert on her own behalf. At this, she sang a recitative 
with aria, from Anna Bolena, and in a duet by Mercadante : 
besides giving a scena from the second act of the Freischiltz. 

Not only at Stockholm did she sing. We find her at Upsala on 
the 19th June, giving a concert in her own name, in connection 
with the great Whitsuntide festivities, of which that university 
town is, annually, the scene. Here, for the first time, she had the 
fascinating triumph of an escort home, accompanied by the 
Students' Song. And here, too, is the first note of danger given, 
as to the strain that is being put on her voice. Evidently, her 

38 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

inner genius is already beating against the bars of her technical 
skill. In her " strivings after perfection " she is attempting more 
than her present knowledge and training enable her to express. 
She " surpasses the limits " which, according to the paper, " Xature 
has set " ; though, indeed, it was not " Nature," but the lack 
of knowledge, which had set the limits. It is just about this 
time, in May, 1840, that the famous Swedish historian Geijer, 
Avho was a most sympathetic admirer, notices " a certain inequality 
in her acting " in the part of " Lucia." Something there was, 
which was, as yet, missing to her full development. Here is the 
interesting extract from the Corresjjondenten, a journal of politics 
and literature, in which the tone of warning or alarm is so grace- 
fully struck. 

" We could hardly name any musical treat, given in Upsala, 
which has met with a more general appreciation than Froken 
Jenny Lind's concert, last Sunday. . . . The modest bearing 
which is so noticeable in this gifted singer contributes, in no 
mean measure, to enhance the enthusiastic reception, with which 
she will always be greeted by an impartial public. But she herself, 
and those who, in one way or another, are disposing of her talents, 
ought to bear in mind that an artist's strivings after perfection 
can, in the case of a dehcate physique, easily become a devouring 
fire. May we err in our conjecture, but there seems to be some 
foundation for the fear that this enchanting voice not rarely sur- 
passes the limits which Nature itself has suggested. From here 
Froken Lind, according to report, went to Gothenburg, having, 
however, promised to visit us again, later on." 

At Gothenburg, Jenny Lind had a most delightful rest for the 
summer. She stayed there all July, singing indeed at a concert 
now and again, but without any serious work, and in hearty enjoy- 
ment of the delicious open-air country-life which was so near her 
heart. Her mother is with her, and writes to Mr. Lind on July 
12th, 1839, a vivid account of the pleasant days, in which we can 
feel how the public excitement is working round Jenny, wlio 
"receives many visits every day from all possible artists and 

"In my last letter I gave yon an account of our pleasant 
journey, etc. We have now settled down temporarily at the 
sweetest little spot, called ' Gubbero,' belonging to the Russian 
Consul Lang, whose chief property is separated only by a garden 

1838-40.] DISCOYEFvY. 39 

from our lod«;infi'S which consist of three furnished rooms with 
ante-room. Our Jenny recruits herself daily, now in the hay- 
stacks, now on the sea or in the swing, in perfect tranquillity, 
while the town people are said to be longing for her concert and 
greatly wondering when it will come off. Once or twice she has 
been siuging in rather good circles, the divine air of ' Isabelle ' 
from Rohert Jo DiaNe. Nearly everybody was crying — one lady 
actually went into hysterics from sheer rapture ; this has got 
abroad already. Yes, mon ])etit vipux, she captivates all, all ! It 
is a great happiness to be a mother nnder such conditions. She 
sends fondest love to her papa, wishiug from all her heart to meet 
you in quite good health. About the 20th, Jenny will give her 
iirst concert — everyone says she ought to raise the usual price." 

The last touch is as eminently characteristic of Fru Lind as it 
is unlike her daughter. AYe find the same note again in an 
amusing bit of disappointed complaint with which she closes a 
most pretty account of a surprise which they had had, earlier in 
the year — an account which we insert here, not only as a graphic 
story of the way in which Jenny was responding to the buzz of 
popular enthusiasm which already began to besiege her, but also, 
as illustrating what Fru Lind here notices, of Jenny's power to 
draw tears of joy, by her singing. Ever in her voice rang the 
sympathetic vibration, at which tears flow. As it had been at her 
<iarliest interview with old Croelius at nine years old, so it is now 
with this old Baron, when she is all but nineteen. 

"Do you know," wTites the mother from Stockholm, on the 
evening of Feb. 22, 1839, "the other day we had a curious visit, 
a certain Baron de G — , an old fientUhomme, who had travelled all 
the Avay from his country-seat, with the hope of seeing and hearing 
Jenny "^in the Freischiitz, but he was disappointed, through a 
change of performance, owing to Almlof 's indisposition. Eandel * 
(whose patron this man is) undertook to forward, in the most 
delicate way, his request to me and to our Jenny, that he might 
call upon us and be allowed to hear, ever so little, the voice of the 
adored one, so highly spoken of in his own part of the country. 
Jenny agreed, and so they came — Randel, Baron de G — , and his 
son. " Little Jenny was liberal, the noble aspect of the old man 
prepossessed her in his favour, she sang both her grand airs. The 
old man was delighted, and this was clearly visible, because he 
could not keep back his tears. Our little home looked particularly 

* Eandel was, then, 2nd Leader of the E. Orchestra. 

40 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. t. 

neat, and chocolate was served, and they parted with ns, quite 
charmed. But probably it ends there ! For who rewards talent 
in our country ; even Avhen people are ever so rich ? " And 
*' what," she asks in this same letter, " has this good, this incom- 
parable Jenny for her increased labour ? Not even the advantage 
of providing for her indispensable wants, without incurring debt I 
But I say, like you, ' Come day, comes counsel ' ; we shall see.'* 

These characteristic passages, which we have quoted to illustrate 
the stir of fame that is moving about the daughter, will well serve 
to explain a domestic crisis which we are now approaching — a 
crisis which had, for its issue, an event that told deeply upon 
Jenny Lind's artistic development. For, indeed, as we read them, 
we cannot but be conscious that this mother, proud as she is of 
her wonderful child, and delighting in the glow of her success, yet 
lets drop expressions which reveal the gulfs that gape between the 
two temperaments. Every one who reads can understand why it 
was that, in spite of the pleasant and affectionate intercourse of 
these summer holidays at Gothenburg, there was something which 
would make mother and child impossible companions for one 
another. This practical and determined mind which was bent on 
acquu'ing the just profits that were due from a public that talked 
so enthusiastically about "our incomparable Jenny" — how it 
must have offended the primary instincts of the artist herself 1 
How was it conceivable that she should tolerate this insistent 
voice in her ear, suggesting always how easy it wouli be to raise 
the price of the tickets ; while she was, on the other hand, shaping 
steadily, into clearer vision, her recognition of her gift as a charge 
from God, to be used in His service, for the lielp of mankind ? 
There might be much affection, at heart, between the pair, but 
companionship, there could not be. They had antagonistic 
consciences : and neither of them had a nature that easily 
yields. This very letter from which we have been quoting 
contains a most characteristic instance of the temper of which we 
are speaking — a temper which was bound to fill a house with the 
noise of clash and quarrel, such as would be misery to one who 
needed in her home shelter, softness, refuge, ease, and peace. 
Here is the story : — 

" I must tell you " (she writes) " that I have just returned 
from the theatre with rather a long face to find that no seat is 

1838-40.] DISCOVERY. 41 

accorded to Jenny's mother, although there still were empty seats, 

and, besides, the performance had already begun. M , with his 

insinuating smile, asked me to Avait on the chance of there being 
room after the second piece had begun. But I answered, ' As no 
place is accorded me, I shall go without altogether,' and so I left. 

Z is always overbearing and rude. This is the gratitude we 

get for our leniency with these people. Jenny, on hearing of this 
misadventure, went straight up to Z , and gave him to under- 
stand her annoyance at my not having a seat. His answer, that 
there could not be room for everybody's mother, was just like him ; 
but Jenny's remark on this took hini a little down ; a messenger 
was despatched to offer me a seat on the first tier ; but, to Jenny's 
surprise, mother was gone — and best so ! " 

This episode is amusing enough ; and, moreover, no one who 
knew the daughter can resist the recognition of qualities in her 
which vividly recall the mother in this most characteristic scene. 
Certainly they bore likeness to one another. But, then, this 
would only make matters worse. We cannot be surprised if such 
an atmosphere became intolerable, and if explosions occurred. 

So it was that, towards the end of 1839, Jenny took the decisive 
step which, finally, separated her from actual home-life. It came 
about with a certain touch of humour. She had, some time 
before this, pressed her old friend, Louise Johansson, now engaged 
in a Magasiii de Jlodes, to take a spare room, which was to be let 
in the Linds' house. This secured her a companionship which 
she greatly valued, and, through which, things were tolerable. 
After a year Fru Lind proposed to raise her terms : and, when 
Mdlle. Louise-could not agree to this, she lost her temper, and 
declared that both Jenuv and she were welcome to leave her roof. 

This was told to a well-to-do relation, Mdlle. Apollonia 
Lindskog, known to Jenny as " Tante Lona," living with a sister 
of Mr. Lind's father, Fru Stromberg, who, having adopted Mr. 
Lmd at his father's death, was called by Jenny " Grandmother." 
These two ladies agreed to receive the exiles : but how were they 
to manage the transfer ? In this way. Jenny packed all her 
clothes into a large wash-basket on the plea that they were to go 
to the dressmaker. She, then, invited her parents to a perform- 
ance of Roberto, in which she played " Alice " : during which time 
Louise put up her things, and sent them off to Mdlle. Lindskog. 
, Next morning, at breakfast, Louise announced that she wished to 

42 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

leave her present lodgings. Fni Lind, with much iieat, broke out 
into her old phrase, and declared that if so, she might take Jenny 
with her. Jenny, then, took her at her word ; and. left the house, 
going, first, to Herr Berg, and, then, joining Louise at Mdlle. 
Lindskog's. Her parents appeared there, to claim her : but found 
themselves unable to force a girl of nineteen from the house of so 
near a relation. Yet Jenny, in fear that they might yet succeed, 
on a Sunday shortly after, left the house, escorted by her maid 
Annette, and turned her steps towards the Bonde Palace, close to 
the theatre, overlooking the Norrstrom, in which lived the famous 
musician, Adolf Frederik Lindblad, the chief of Swedish song- 
writers, her warm admirer, and friend. Into his family she was 
received : she found in Madame Lindblad a second mother : and 
from Herr liindblad himself, and from the society into which he 
brought her, she inhaled an influence which affected her entire 
development, artistic, intellectual, and moral. Of this, we shall 
have more to say in the following chapter. In his house she 
remained until her final departure for Paris in July, 1841. Back 
to rooms in that house she came on her return to Stockholm in 
1842. There was her home. There she could rest at peace. 
There she found the sympathy, the understanding, the inspiration, 
which her nature ardently needed. Though in some points 
endowed with a " Finnish " stubbornness, she was, in others, 
singularly self-distrustful, uncertain, easily unnerved. She greatly 
needed an atmosphere of affection to give her confidence and 
security. She was passionately domestic ; she must have the 
assurance of love about her, to save her from the miseries of 
suspicion and of distrust, into which her lofty idealism was very 
apt to lapse. It w^as not that she did not have affection for 
her parents : on the contrary, she held them very deep in her 
heart. But it was impossible for them to enter into her motives 
and aims. 

So it happened : and Jenny, now, could at last bring together 
her life into a single whole. Her daily surroundings w^ere no 
longer in collision with her artistic inspiration. Bather, they 
aided, fed, succoured it. Her spirit breathed an air that was 
congenial and bracing : her heart found warmth and nourishment 
in the cherishing kindliness of a family. The year must have 
been a happy one. It was full of success. It opened with a 
brilliant continuation of her " Alice," in January, to be repeated 

1838-40.] DISCOYEEY. 43 

in April, and all through November. She sang, again, in her 
former parts of " Agatha," " Euryanthe," " Pamina," " Julia " 
(the Vestale), and "Marie," in Herold's operatic drama of that 
name. All is now opera : not a single one of her old comedy- 
parts does she play. She adds to her score two important cha- 
racters — " Donna Anna," in Don Juan ; and " Lucia," in Lucia 
di Lammennoor. This last part, one of her famous roles, had a 
furore. She introduced it into Stockholm on May 16th, and 
played it for twenty-eight nights in the year. It was after her 
thirteenth performance of "Lucia," that, on June 19th, 1840, 
a number of the actors, together with members of the orchestra 
and chorus, gathered before her dressing-room and serenaded her ; 
and, on her return home, she was presented with a silver tea and 
coffee service, which was ever highly valued by her, and was left, 
by specific direction in her will, to her eldest son. The donors 
appeared in gala costume, among them being his Excellency 
Count J. G-. de la Gardie, Count Carl de Geer, Count Carl Axel 
Lowenhjelm, Count Gustaf Trolle Bonde, etc., etc. Lindblad's 
eldest daughter, now Mme. Lotten von Feilitzen, remembers 
well how Jenny Lind had to go to the window, after receiving 
the present, to wave her handkerchief to the crowd that had 
collected below in the street. Altogether, she made sixty-nine 

Two special events may be finally noticed. First, she goes 
again, at Whitsuntide, to Upsala ; and we have a letter of Geijer, 
written at the time, which speaks of the intense interest of Lind- 
blad in his charge. 

"Lindblad, who in the general enchantment is particularly 
enchanted with Mdlle. Lind, was also here and staying with us. 
He left this morning, upon which Upsala may be likened to a 
ban-el from which the bottom has been taken out, so that the 
contents run away." 

And our old paper, the Correspondenten, has some graceful words 
which we cannot but insert, for, besides the warm and intelligent 
enthusiasm of its praise, it uses the symbol of the nightingale, 
which became afterwards her familiar patronymic. 

" But, in addition to Nature's beautiful siuging-birds, there 
came, flying thither on Whitsun eve, a nobler nightingale, the 

44 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. v. 

famous Jenny Lind, whose arrival many a one has heartily looked 
forward to. For, indeed, she has been the object of a homage 
such as, in its truest form, can be given only in a city of culture 
and of youth. True, it is in the first place a great, an extra- 
ordinary talent one admires in her ; but how infinitely is the 
value of this artistic power increased by the unpretending, modest, 
charming manner, in which it presents itself to an enraptured 
listener ! With her all seems Nature, simple and glorious, so as to 
make one forget what great influence \it has also exercised on 
her development. It is by this harmonious combination of a 
noble nature and art, that Froken Jenny Lind in every respect 
stands out as of exceptional and unalloyed worth." 

So goes the judgment of Sweden. It embodies exactly the con- 
stant impression which, year after year, in far lands abroad, she 
is to create. Somehow or other, wherever she is to go, and what- 
ever her triumphs in Denmark, Germany, England, and America, 
no one can succeed in recording his experience without arriving 
at this very identical conclusion of the Upsala periodical. Always 
he finds himself saying, that " great and extraordinary as is the 
talent which one admires in her, how infinitely is the value of 
this artistic power increased by the modest and charming manner 
in which it offers itself to the enraptured listener ! " That is it. 
That is what everyone feels, and what everyone tries to say. It 
is this especial interest of her singing to which we propose to 
devote the following chapter. Here we pause for a moment in 
our narrative of her early dramatic career, and take note of where 
we stand. We have followed her from the lowest rung of the 
ladder — a tiny mite in the theatre-school, performing its first 
miraculous feats — to the high platform on to which she has passed, 
in secure possession of unqualified supremacy on her native stage. 
Nothing has interrupted or broken this sure progress. It has 
been a steady upward movement towards its final bewildering 
triumph. As a child, she had fascinated by her acting ; as a 
singer, her very first debut had been to her an immediate and 
unmistakable revelation of her supreme powers. Her nation have 
greeted her with acclamation. Their enthusiasm for her voice 
can only be outdone by their enthusiasm for herself. So it is, as 
we look back along the road she has travelled. Her troubles have 
all been domestic. As an artist, her career has been unchecked 
and unclouded. She might well think that she had, at twenty, 

1838-40.] DISCOVEKY. 45 

already touched the summit. All the world about her was ready 
to assure her that it was so. How little she herself thought so, 
we shall soon see. 

But, before doing so, we are bound to stop and review the 
personal character, which had developed under these conditions. 
What type of person was the Jenny Lind of whom all Sweden 
was now talking ? 

46 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vi. 



There are artists, in whom their art is so predominant, that, 
like a despotism, it concentrates all efforts and capacities upon 
itself. The man is absorbed within his main interest. Throuo-h 
it alone does he find energetic vent. In it he verifies the 
attributes of genius : he gives evidence of something in him 
which is surpassingly excellent : but, outside its ring-fence, in all 
the other departments of life and character, he shows himself as 
ordinary, and unremarkable as the rest of us. His artistic genius 
does not flow over, and animate, his other sensibilities, and gifts : 
it abides in itself : and seems, even, to drain originality out of 
all rival channels ; so that we might think the man common- 
place, and dull, until we saw him transfigured and illuminated 
in the exercise of his own peculiar talent. This is a perfectly 
possible type of genius : and, because it exists, men are loud in 
asserting the proverbial disappointment often felt at meeting, 
in society, some one who has been, through his gift, the inspi- 
ration of their lives. In the ordinary afi'airs with which all are 
concerned, this glorious hero, this poet, this musician, with whose 
fame the world is ringing, shows no particular power, has no 
especial facility, may, indeed, prove himself inferior in judgment 
and in insight to many a man who prides himself on making no 
claim to be a genius. More especially, in the field of executive 
art, involving curious and special facilities of organization, we 
may expect to come across such surprises as this. 

All the more noticeable then is it, that, in the case of Jenny 
Lind, the surprise is all -the other way. There is a universal 
consent, in all who record her influence, that what they experi- 
enced was the effect of a character whose genius penetrated every 
corner of her being, so that her unique gift of song appeared but 
as an incidental illustration of the originality which was every- 

1840] CHAKACTER. 47 

where in her. Even tliose who felfc her singing most profoundly, 
felt ever as she sang, that she was more than her singing : while 
those whose lack of musical perception made them impervious to 
her special talent, experienced as much as any the full fascination 
of her personality. This impression of her belongs to her early, 
as well as to her after, years : and it cannot be better given than 
in an expressive phrase, used long after our present date, indeed, 
but which vividly and exactly embodies what was already so 
characteristic of her. " After all, I would rather hear Jenny 
talk, than sing, wonderful as that is," writes Mrs. Stanley, the 
wife of the Bishop of Xorwich, to her sister, Mrs. Augustus Hare, 
in September, 1847, after a rapturous account of what her 
singing had been. Surely, a most striking remark to make. 
The phrase exactly embodies the feeling that Jenny Lind was, 
not less, but more, than her Art. What men saw, and found in 
her was, not that a common piece of the stuff of human nature 
had been caught up, by the artistic inspiration, into some un- 
speakable heaven, and been transfigured by some sudden and 
strange glory which carried the human spirit beyond itself. Xo ! 
rather they felt that here was a character of supreme value, of 
unique excellence, which had contrived to find its way down into 
the world's scenery, through the particular channel provided for 
it by song. Music gave it its chief opportunity for discovering 
itself to men ; but it itself stood above the Art which it used as 
its finest medium of communication. Hence the intensity of 
spiritual interest, which greeted her singing. Men seemed to 
themselves not so much to be listening to a voice, as to be 
catching sight, through the door which music opened, of a high 
and pure soul, moving down to them, through the pathway of 
song, out of some far untainted home of purity and joy. It was 
this soul which they greeted with such amazement, such warmth ; 
it was its felt presence which made the tears start, always, to 
their eyes as they listened. It was Jenny Lind herself, who, by 
means of her wonderful gift, was the revelation to them of the 
heights which it was still open to men to attain. 

And, because this was so, we desire, both in the present chapter, 
and in chapters to come, to dwell, especially, on the social 
impression produced by her, wherever she went. This book, it is 
true, is a memoir of Jenny Lind as the artist. But as she was 
one of those whose art reveals a character behind it, out of which 

48 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. cii. \j. 

its own excellence is drawn ; so it w^ould be impossible to repre- 
sent the effect of Jenny Lind, as en artist, without making it 
continually clear what it was which Mrs. Stanley meant when she 
said in 1847, " After all, I would rather hear Jenny talk than 
sing," or, as she wrote again in the same year : " Her singing 
is the least part of her charm ; she has the simplicity of genius." 

We shall have frequent occasion, as our story proceeds, to call 
attention to this significant characteristic ; as, for instance, to 
note that wherever she goes, over the cities of Europe, she is, 
somehow, always found to be staying in the house of someone 
who is of special, and even European, reputation. Men of this 
high stamp seem, always, to foregather with her ; she has the 
entry ; she finds her home with them. And, again, in her own 
city of Stockholm, where the circumstances of her life, with w^hich 
we are familiar, might be expected to stand somewhat in her way, 
and where there Avas, necessarily, so much, in her bringing up, 
which would make it difficult for her to break down social 
barriers, nothing is more remarkable than her complete accept- 
ance, before she has passed her girlhood, not only into those 
circles where details of birth and position are supposed to be of 
vital importance, but what is far more, into those high literary 
intimacies w^here nothing but character counts. 

Let us give illustrations of this. Here is a most graceful and 
brilliant picture of a soiree in Stockholm in 1839, which we cannot 
but give as a whole. It is perfectly trustworthy, being the record 
of a lady, still living, in whose old home the scene took place. 
Evidently, as all who read it must feel, the impression of that 
marked evening stamped itself upon the girl's brain, so that every 
detail stood out sharp and clear, when, in 1887, nearly fifty years 
later, she wrote out the sketch. Here is the account : — 

" It is a cold winter's evening in the year 18o9. In the house 
of 11 Eegeringsgatan chandeliers and lustres are gradually being 
lit. Along the street is stopping a row of closed carriages, which, 
each in its turn, drive up to the entrance. Footmen in livery 
open the carriage-doors and smart women, followed by men in 
uniform, get out cautiously and disappear through the porch of 
the faintly illuminated passage. 

" In the first salon, where various musical instruments are 

seen, they are received by the host, Baron L , an elderly 

man, with noble features, shaded by silver-grey hair, of dignified 

1840.] CHARACTER. 49 

deportment, and an air of kindliness and refinement about him 
generally. Passing through a smaller ante-chamber, the guests 
now proceed to the great, half-round salon, where the hostess u 
awaiting them. She is a tiny little lady, about thirty, youthful in 
her movements, with expressive eyes and a smile of gTeat fun as 
well as of courtesy, round her lips." After describing the arrival 
of the guests, the account goes on. 

" All of a sudden, the whispering becomes louder, changing 
tone altogether, Avhile every head is directed towards the ante- 

" On the threshold stands the host and by his side, shaking 
hands with him, a young girl, with an abundance of curls 'round 
the pale cheeks ; a gown in simple style softly clings round the 
maiden figure, and there is a dreamy, half -absent, and fascinating 
look in the deep-set eyes. 

'• The hum is increasing still more when the old nobleman leads 
the visitor into the midst of his guests ; but he has not time to 
pronounce her name, it is already on everybody's lips, and is now 
flying round the room with a subdued sound : Jenny Lincl ! Jenny 
Lind ! 

" The beauties of the season are forgotten, and, what is more, 
they forget all about themselves. 

'* A singular liveliness is breathing through the hitherto rather 
formal company. The hostess attracts both young and old to her 
animated conversation with the honoured guest ; and every one is 
gratified who catches a word or a look from this Jenny Lind who, 
for the last few weeks, has, as ' Alice ' in Rohert U Liable and 
' Agatha ' in the FreiscMltz, captivated and enchanted both them- 
selves and the whole Stockholm public. 

"Somewhat monosyllabic, at the start, amongst all these 
strangers, the guest begins, by-and-by, to shake off her reserve. 
She smiles an incredulous smile when one of lajeunesse doree com- 
pares her to ' la divine Malibran,' and laughs openly at some old 
general's grotesque flattery. To a sentimental inquiry as to 
what heavenly thoughts had filled her mind when, the preceding 
evening, she had, as ' Alice,' embraced the cross, she answered, k 
little hesitatingly : ' I believe I was thinking of my old bonnet.' 
But, wherever she encounters genuine and deeper understanding 
in the compliments uttered, her answers are sympathetic, almost 

" How the gay party went on, and how Jenny Lind sang the 
'Lieder'of Geijer and Lindblad as they never were, nor ever 
more will be sung — we must here only glance at. And further 
how the host and hostess were obliged to check the too eager 
wishes of their friends to hear more and ever more — in order to 

50 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vi. 

show that the object of the invitation had been the pe'^sonal 
acquaintance of the charming artist, not only the enjoyment of 
her song, lovely though it be. That Jenny Lincl was satisfied 
with her evening, and, in this milipu, found several of her most 
enthusiastic and faithful admirers, is quite certain. And, as she 
was the first operatic singer received in the best society of the 
capital, in which she became a dear and honoured guest, it has 
seemed of some interest to preserve a few details of her appearance 
in this domain. 

" In the memory of the writer of this paper, Jenny Lind stands 
out a unique apparition, like no one else, simple, unpretending, 
but dignified — penetrated by a sorb of sacred responsibility for her 
mission — the mission of Art in its lofty purity — which she felt 
that God had confided to her." 

The last touches of this graphic record will serve to justify our 
insistence on this social aspect of Jenny Lind's life ; and to 
redeem our motives from the suspicion of any unworthy interest 
in these formalities of society. For it is just through this lofty 
sense of artistic mission that she took her place amid her fellows. 
As at Stockholm, so everywhere, it is this, her spiritual sense of 
responsibility, which gave her social distinction, and carried her, 
in dignified ease, through these surroundings. It was this, which 
secured her that aspect of independence, of detachment, which is 
so vital, if an artist is to preserve moral dignity, in face of a 
" society " which is too apt to flatter itself that it is doing a favour 
to those to whom it kindly permits an entry, and which is 
encouraged in this self-flattery, if the artist is obviously grateful 
for the attention. Xobody could see Mdlle. Lind for two seconds, 
and suspect her of any such flattery. She moved about " like 
an apparition " : like one " with a mission " : charged with a 
serious responsibility. That is her social character : that is her 
note, her charm, as this paper beautifully records : and this made 
all touch of over-deference to external position absolutely impos- 
sible to her. Xo one could mistake that free independence : that 
moral "detachment." Indeed, criticism on her social qualities 
would turn on the very opposite defect to that at which we have 
been hinting. It might be said that this spiritual aloofness gave 
a sense of haughtiness to her manner in public, and with those 
who were not intimate. There was a " hold-off " look — a 
drawing away, a critical survey of a new-comer, which made 
many an introduction to her, in after years, a moment of supreme 

1840.] CHAKACTEE. 51 

agony to those who had, perhaps, dreamed of that happiness for 
hours and days before, but who, now that it had come, and that 
she was looking them over Avith a cold and lofty gaze, could only 
pray that the earth might yawn and swallow them up, before 
things had gone any further. It was a severe ordeal : and, un- 
questionably, no worldly rank or position would have the slightest 
effect in modifying its severity. 

Again, this spiritual attitude of one " charged with a mission," 
made " Society " most distasteful to her. She hated its frivolous 
distractions, its social pettiness, its wearisome routine. She 
liked " intimates." And " Society," therefore, in admitting her, 
never felt that it had done her a great kindness, or that she 
hung on its favours. Rather, it knew that something was there 
in her, which made all social distinctions become very small 
matters indeed. For the standards, which her presence forced to 
the front, were not " social," but moral and spiritual : and it was 
impossible to have intercourse with her, without becoming 
conscious of this : and, tried by those standards, it was she who 
Ijrought the honour, not society which conferred it. 

In this temper of moral independence, she passed up, out of the 
struggles and clouds of her childhood, into the full sunlight of 
success, with absolute ease, without a shadow of encumbering 
consciousness, without a breath of worldliness ever crossing her 
spirit. She retained, without even an effort, all her inherent and 
native simplicity, her freshness, her undaunted sincerity. IN'ever 
did she slacken, for a moment, her demand that the worth of men 
should be estimated, wholly and utterly, according to their moral 
value. Never, for one instant, did the mists of conventionalism 
dim her vision, or confuse her insight. She had one set of 
balances ; and one only. She never even seems to have been 
tempted to exchange them. Swept up, in the sudden rush of an 
overwhelming success, out of obscurity into the company and 
the friendship of princes and kings, this girl, in her simple- 
hearted virginity, kept a conscience as true and fine as steel. 
Failings of another type might be laid to her charge. She 
could be hasty and hard, sometimes, in her judgments. She was 
liable to misunderstand people. She had vehement impulses, and 
equally vehement reactions, which were apt to gain for her, from 
those who knew her little, the character of capricious fitfulness. 
She could magnify slight lapses into great sins. A certain 

E 2 

52 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. ti. 

spiritual haughtiness there was in her ; a certain suspicion of the 
motives on which she, by bitter experience, learned that men too 
often act. All this might be said. But one thing it was for evtr 
impossible, even for an enemy, to imagine : that Jenny Lind ever 
condescended to lower the steady standards by which she tested all 
human worth, high or low, rich or poor. Thus it was that she 
secured, as we shall hear, " a homage " from the best society in 
Stockholm, which was quite peculiar in its type. " Homage ! " 
that is the very word to express what it was that was given her. 
One feels it, in the delightful refusal of the lady of the house, in 
the sketch just given, to ask her to sing again, lest she should seem 
to have been invited for her singing, and not for her personal 
qualities. It was this complete acceptance of her, in her own 
independent character, which Avorked a real and lasting change in 
the social respect given to actors and actresses in Stockholm, by 
which the difficulties that had stood hitherto in their way dis- 
appeared. And this absolute sincerity of character which won her 
this homage as a girl of nineteen, remained so entirely untouched 
to the last, that every gesture and every look, recorded in that 
graceful portrait of her behaviour on her earliest debut, is 
familiar to those who only knew her in the latter years of her 
English life. That is the very lady whom they knew : every 
phrase recalls her. They can see her, as she stands there, at the 
entry of the salon, when the old nobleman is receiving her : rather 
monosyllabic, at first ; and, then as she shakes off her reserve, 
responding, to any genuine speech, with a sympathy that is 
" almost humble." They can feel her as she bends and smiles 
incredulously, at the pretty compliments paid her by the young 
men : they can positively hear her laugh as the old generals come 
up to fumble out their " grotesque flattery " : they can catch the 
very ring of her voice, and the very look in her arch eyes, as she 
puts off the inquiries as to the nature of her secret thoughts when 
clasping the cross in the scene from Roherto, with the mock-serious 
confession that " she was thinking of her old bonnet ! " "A 
unique apparition, like no one else ; simple, unpretending, 
dignified ! " How much the words recall ! How many a similar 
scene was embodied in tliem ! To the very last hour of her life, 
they would have been the only possible description of her. 
Surely, a singular force of sincerity lay in her, which could make 
that early picture of her so speak to those who saw and loved her 

1S40.] CnARACTEK. 53 

forty years after, as if it were alive with her very presence and 
instinct with her very tones ! 

And here, as we speak of her social effect, it is necessary to 
touch upon her personal appearance. Yet how useless it seems ! 
Xo words can be used which will not convey a wrong or exagge- 
rated impression to those who never saw her : and to those who 
have seen and known her, no words are necessary. Her features 
were strong, and homely : of a usual Swedish type, we believe : 
very pliable, and expressive, especially about the nose and the 
mouth ; and it was this expressive pliability, which allowed such 
strange and delicious transformation to pass over her face, as it 
changed from repose to action. At the start, you would pro- 
nounce it plain ; but, then, it lent itself to express, in a peculiar 
degree, the winning simplicity and freshness of girlhood. It was 
full of animation, and into it, moreover, there ever passed the 
singular grace of her " pose " and her movements. It was a face 
which it was delightful to watch. It could express everything 
with a graphic intensity that made one laugh from pure joy. 
It could brim over with fun : it had an irresistible archness, when 
she was amused : it was capable of an almost awful solemnity : 
and it could, when she was suspicious and on her guard, become 
absolutely stony. A transparent countenance, indeed, on which 
every emotion revealed itself with unqualified spontaneity. It 
was the ever-changing mirror of her soul, and therefore became 
charged with interest : a speaking face, which could captivate by 
its overflowing vitality, until it became delightful to observe, and 
to remember, for its own sake ; and this illumination from 
within, combined as it was, with the buoyant movements which 
filled her whole body, gave her, both off and on the stage, when- 
ever she was animated, that positive charm, that personal fasci- 
nation, which is associated, generally, with beauty. 

She was five feet three to four inches in height : but she held 
her head so erect and had trained herself so carefully in standing 
and walking that she appeared to be taller. 

All the portraits taken of her, take notice of the fine mould of 
her arms, and especially, of their characteristic position, in repose, 
with her hands clasped on her lap. In the Stockholm days, she 
wore her hair in bunches of curls at each side of the forehead, as 
is the case in Sodermark's portrait of her, painted in 1843, which 
she had in her own possession. About the year 1844, she seems 

iA JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vi. 

to have adopted for herself, that wavy droop of the hair, laid 
down low about her ears, which became so familiar and noticeable 
a mark of her appearance, that it alone sufficed to make a likeness 
resemble her. 

The main elements of her character, as of her type of counten- 
ance, were radically national. She was a downright and typical 
Swede. She was fond of dwelling on the artistic capacities of her 
people, to whom she owed her own quick sensibilities, her alert 
and receptive imagination, her vivacity of temperament. She 
believed them to have all the artist's possibilities in them, with all 
the attendant perils. And, in view of these perils to which all 
such gifted natures must be liable, it is remarkable that she 
should have included within this national groundwork of her 
character, a profound moral stability, a depth of seriousness, such 
as would be rare in any race ; and, moreover, with this she had 
a persistence, a stubbornness, which, among Scandinavian races, 
is traditionally attributed to the Finn. And if she had the vivacity 
of her people, she inherited also from it the strong, passionate 
feelings, and affections, which make the home-relationships, in 
Sweden, so rooted and so deep ; and, also, that undertone of 
melancholy, into which such artistic sensitiveness is prone to 
re-act, — an undertone, which seems to creep, like the sighing of 
a wounded spirit, out of the black heart of Swedish pine-woods, 
and to hover over the wide surfaces of her inland waters. Such 
notes of pathos underlie the songs of her people : and she was a 
true Swede when she wrote of herself, " When I am alone, you 
have no idea how different I am — so happy, yet so melancholy that 
tears are rolling down my cheeks unceasingly." 

This personal impression, which we have faintly suggested, told, 
as we have said, not only upon the higher social circles of Stock- 
holm, but also upon the literary and cultured society, where, 
again, she formed affectionate intimacies with the few, and the 

Of those two names must yet be mentioned, which embody a 
special interest in her life. 

First, A. F. Lindblad, the famous song-writer. We have seen 
into what close contact they had been drawn. In his house she 
found a refuge, and a home, through which she was brought into 
constant contact with the higher culture of the Swedish capital. 
Lindblad was born m 1801, and studied music in Berlin, under 

1840.] CHARACTER. 55 

Zelter : and also in Paris, between 1825-27, after whicli he 
returned to Stockholm and lived there until 18G4, when he moved 
to near Linkoping. His renown rests, chiefly, on his songs. 

" They are eminently national, and full of grace and originality, 
tinged with the melancholy which is characteristic of Swedish 
music. In short songs, in which extreme simplicity is of the 
essence of their charm, his success has been most conspicuous." * 

There can be no doubt that Jenny Lind's intimacy with 
Lindblad had an immense influence on her musical development. 
Besides the vital effect of his personality, she heard at his house all 
the best instrumental music of the great composers then flourishing : 
it was there that she was first introduced to the music of 
Mendelssohn, — 'especially to the Songs without Words, which had, 
just at that time, taken Europe by storm. She wrote herself, in 
1882, after having read a biography of Lindblad, by Professor 
Xyblom: — 

" I have to thank him (Lindblad) for that fine comprehension 
of art which was implanted by his idealistic, pure, and unsensual 
nature into me, his ready pupil. Subsequently Christianity stepped 
in, to satisfy the moral needs, and to teach me to look well into 
my own soul. Thus it became to me, both as an artist and as a 
woman, a higher chastener." 

So she described her spiritual progress, looking back to the 
influence of Lindblad as anticipatory of that yet deeper hold of 
the meaning of Art which was given her under the later dominance 
of the full Christian ideal. Xot only did she repay, in counter- 
influence, all the attention that Lindblad concentrated upon her, 
but also, she by her singing, carried the fame of his songs all over 
Europe. And still, in long after years, in England, in hours of 
lonely quiet, or at times when she was depressed and needed 
comfort, she would sit at the piano and " croon " over to herself 
those songs of Lindblad's, which had in them so many memories 
— memories that had passed into her very being, of far days in the 
old country, when those sounds, so saturated with the inspiration 
of her home, were first in her ears, and she was tasting the spring 
sweetness of her fresh young powers. 

* Grove's ' Dictionary of Music,' Art. " Lindblad." 

56 JENNY LIXD. [bk. i. ch. vi. 

And, secondlj, avc must mention the great name of Erik Gustaf 
Oeijer, a man at the very summit of Swedish literature. Born in 
1783, he became Professor of History at the University of Upsahi 
in 1816, where his lectures had unexampled popularity. In spite 
of the offer of a bishopric, Professor he still remained, planning 
the great history of Sweden, of which his introduction was a 
masterpiece of skill and knowledge : and producing various his- 
torical works. He was much occupied with political and econo- 
mical speculations ; and for thirty years continued to be one of 
the chiefs of the Swedish literary world. He died on April 23, 
1847. Besides his historical and political work, he had a real 
talent for music ; and published a volume of songs, of which 
Lindblad wrote a famous account.* Through music, he crossed 
the path of Jenny Lind ; and in her he took a most warm 

" Jenny and I have become very good friends," he writes in 
January, 1840. "I call her 'Thou,' and she calls me 'Uncle.' 
She is a simple attractive being. Lindblad and Madame Lindblad 
both stand to her in almost fatherly and motherly relation, Avhich 
becomes both parties very well. All the same, I am afraid she is 
a kind of ' comet ' which may interfere with their domestic peace, 
for comets have tails ; and their house is besieged by Jenny's 
admirers, who now may be said to consist of the whole public." 

Again, in March, he writes : " Jenny Lind sang two of my 
songs, i.e. ' The Dmiring-Room or the Wood,' and ' Spring, will it 
come ? ' It was quite excellent. I went behind the curtain to 
thank her, and accompanied her home to her door. I do not 
think lightly of the good graces in which I believe myself to stand 
with her." 

For her he wrote songs, both words and music ; and it is in 
one of these songs that we discover the record both of his esti- 
mation of her character, and also of the profound effect which 
such an estimate, coming from such a man, had upon her to whom 
it was addressed. And, indeed, we cannot wonder at this effect : 
for the author of the song is not afraid to acknowledge, in this 
fresh young girl, the signs and omens of that supreme genius, 
which is the highest born of Heaven, and which, yet, because it is 
highest, is also as a " consuming flame," to which the devoted and 

* Cf. Biography in Geijer's Collected Works, 1873-75. 

1840.] CHARACTER. 57 

sacrificial AVill must yield itself, as a victim, offered on an altar. 
The deep and serious import of such momentous words, addressed 
to her by the highest intellectual authority of her native land, 
and ranking her, the young opera-singer from the Theatre School, 
with that rare band of spiritual heroes whose lives are as a torch 
lit by divine fire, must have been as a revelation ; and the traces 
of this remain on a copy of these verses, in her own handwriting, 
found among her papers, across the bottom of which she has 
written, " On these words I Avas launched into the open sea." To 
her they marked the date at which she felt herself a public, an 
historic, character. For her they contained the secret of her 
mission, of her expectations, of her fotare. She was to move out 
into the open day of her fame, not to win a reputation, not to 
enjoy, not to taste triumph, not to satisfy her own craving for 
expression, not to find a world of honour, and wealth, and ease. 
Nay ! She was to be clad about with prophetic solemnity. She 
was to yield herself to the stern necessities of genius : she was to 
consume, in giving : the steps up which she was ever to be passing 
were to be the steps of an altar : and she was the sacrifice. Such 
were the words that were behind her when she found herself 
" launched into the open sea." * 

We give them in a free and rough translation : — 

" Oh ! if from yon Eternal Fire, 

Which slays the souls that it sets free — 
Consuming them, as they aspire — 

One burning spark have fallen on thee ! 

" Fear not ! Though upward still it haste, 
That living fire, that tongue of flame! 
Thy days it turns to bitter waste ; 

But ah ! from heaven — from heaven it came ! " 

* Thev were printed, with music, in the ' Linnaea Borealis Poetisk 
Kalendei-,' 1841. 

58 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. yii. 



The sign of the sacrifice was already upon her, in the year 1840. 
On the surface, she had everything which could satisfy her. She 
had become the idol of the National Drama. She had been made 
Member of the Eoyal Swedish Academy of Music in 1840, and 
had received the high official recognition by being appointed 
Court-singer on the 13th of January, 1840, by His Majesty Carl 
Johan. This was an honour which her mother had already 
been anticipating, from the summer of 1839, and had rejoiced 
over the fact that it included a salary. "It is a great mark 
of distinction," she writes to her husband ; " and a great joy 
for us ! " She had the best social " world " at her feet. She 
enjoyed the delightful companionship of some of the most culti- 
vated men and women in Sweden. Her position at the Royal 
Theatre was assured her. The Directors were, at the very 
moment, proposing to her a fresh and advanced contract. 
Indeed, we shall see that their zeal outran their discretion 
and their proper consideration for her ; for they were but too 
anxious to use her gifts at the risk of over-straining them. Her 
popularity was at its height ; she was pursued with enthusiasm. 
The musical authorities of Stockholm had no more to teach 
her ; they w^ere content to praise her as the perfect exponent of 
their art. 

And, yet, what was it that worked within the girl's heart, and 
told her that all this was as nothing — told her that, far from 
having reached the end, she was not even at the beginning — told 
her that her art had secrets yet to unfold to her, and that this 
adulation which encompassed her was but a prophecy of what she 
ought to become hereafter ? As she bowed in courteous acknow- 
ledgment of the loud plaudits of an enthusiastic theatre, she heard, 
above all the genial tumult, this " still, small voice " withhi, which 

1840-41.] riLGKIMAGE. 59 

said to her, " Yes ! you may some day live to deserve that kindly, 
that encouraging applause ; but to-day you know that, by rights, 
it is not yours. It is given you, in spite of yourself. But you 
have that in you which may, indeed, deserve to receive that 
which is generously offered you, in anticipation, to-day. Far 
away, over the sea, the secret is kept which will unlock the 
shut doors, and will set free your true self. There it is 
that Art will disclose the mystery, which is now felt but not 
perceived — the mystery that moves veiled behind the glory of 
to-day's success." It was the inspiration of genius which spoke 
to her. She had but her own soul to trust to. She had 
no ideal, no articulate standard given her, by which to test 
herself ; yet she knew her lack — she felt what she was missing. 
And, in so feeling, she knew, also, that, to discover the ideal, 
to win that which was lacking, aU her present triumph must be 
surrendered — must be thrown to the winds. The voice within 
must be obeyed at all costs ; out over the sea, far from home 
and its happy honours, she must seek, alone and undirected, 
the meaning of the mysterious summons. Surely the pressure 
of the prophetic words was upon her — • 

"Fear not, though upward still it haste, 
That living fire, that tongue of flame ! 
Tliy days it turns to bitter waste ; 
But ah ! from heaven — from heaven it came ! '* 

So it was that she took her own resolution. We give it in 
her own remarkable words. They were written in answer to 
the new proposals made by the Directors, who, on the loth of 
December, 1840, " wishing," as they said, " most particularly 
to attach to the Swedish stage a talent so eminent as the 
Court-singer Froken Jenny Lind, make her the highest offer 
of which their regulations afford them the power." This 
highest offer was, it is true, not extravagant ; it ensured her 
£150 a year ; it provided her with all her costumes out of 
theatrical funds ; it allowed her one " benefit " every year ; 
and special "extra service money for the parts in which she 
appears." It offered her the months of July and August for 
study abroad ; and promised to try to extend this interval. The 
engagement was to last for the full period permitted, i.e. three 

CO JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vii 

To this Froken Lind sent the following answer : — 

" To the Directors of the Royal Theatre. 

" In reply to the letter from the Directors of the Royal Theatre, 
dated ir)th December last year, I have the honour to state as 
follows : The musical and dramatic capabilities which, from my 
earliest years, I have felt myself to possess, have, thanks to the 
cultivation received at home, though hitherto insufficient, still 
been able to attract some attention, to my dawning talent ; but it 
is not with half-developed natural gifts, however happy, that an 
nrtist can keep his ground ; and, greatly as I prize the appreciation 
I have been fortunate enough already to win, I feel I ought to 
consider it not so much a homage to the artist I was and am, as 
an encouragement to what I might become. 

" With this conviction, and in order to attain the artistic per- 
fection open to me, I have thought it a duty to do what I can, 
and not to draw back before any sacrifice, either of youth, health, 
comfort, or labour, not to speak of the modest sum I have managed 
to save, in the hope of reaching what may, perhaps, prove an un- 
attainable aim. In consequence, I have decided on a journey to, 
and a sojourn at, some place abroad, which, through furnishing 
the finest models in art, would prove to me of the greatest profit. 

"It is, then, chiefly this journey which constitutes the real 
obstacle to my immediately accepting, in its entirety, the kind 
offer of the Directors of the Eoyal Theatre ; for it defers, for 
another year, the possibility of my re-engagement. I am in 
hopes, however, that the Royal Directors will not disapprove 
of my resolution, all the more as it aims solely at perfecting 
myself in my art ; while all sacrifices, inseparable from a similar 
undertaking, will fall on myself alone. Trusting that the Royal 
Directors Avill accord to these reasons due consideration, and, 
in accordance with the request made in their kind letter, I beg 
leave to submit my counter-proposals. 

" On returniug to my native country, next year, I undertake to 
serve at the Royal Theatre for the two following years at the 
salary proposed by the Royal Directors in the above-mentioned 
letter of the loth December last, but with the following modifica- 
tions : that my engagement, for each year, may not exceed eight 
months, viz., from 1st October unto the following 31st May, so 
that a leave of the four months, June, July, August and September 
may be accorded to me. 

" Furthermore, I must, rather as a humble petition, than as a 
condition for my return to the service of the Royal Theatre, 
express my wish to be free this year from next 31st May, since in 

1840-41.] PILGRIMAGE. CI 

the beginning of June an opportunity offers for me to start on 
my intended journey in company witli a family without whose 
protection I should not venture to undertake it. I hope the 
Eoyal Directors will, kindly, give due weight to this invaluable 
advantage, and, in view of its importance to me, excuse my 
earnest request. " Jexxy Lixd. 

"Stockholm, 9 February, 1841." 

A notable document, this. Had she any counsel to aid her in 
its production ? Did Berg, did Lindblad advise the step ? We 
have no record of such advice from them. Both, indeed, seem to 
have agreed to the step, and to favour its carrying out ; for Berg- 
is found with her at the start in Paris ; and it is only out of her 
own delicate affection for her former master that she delays her 
beginning with the next one. Moreover, she owns to having con- 
sulted him as to what was to be done when it became clear to him 
as to her, that he had no more to teach her. Lindblad, also, 
visits her in Paris, and interests himself in her final fortunes 
there. But, still, there is no sign of their being the prime 
movers. No evidence exists of her seeking other counsel than 
her own heart in making the final decision. 

Yet two influences there were that told strongly upon her at 
the time, and urged her forward. The first was theoretical and 
ideal : it was that of Geijer. He was clear that she belonged to 
mankind, rather than to Sweden, and he pressed upon her the 
necessity of widening her range of knowledge and skill. She, 
herself, attributed the momentum that drove her afield to Geijer's 
insistence. " He kicked me out . . . into the great world," she 
would say, with humorous vigour. The second influence was 
direct, and practical. It was the example of Belletti, the cele- 
brated barytone, then singing with her at the Royal Theatre. 
He showed her, vividly, what scientific singing in the great Italian 
manner really meant ; and he would be able, if consulted as to 
where such style could be gained, to say at once, — " At Paris, 
mider Garcia." 

The decision, then, from which she is not to draw back, even 
at "the sacrifice of youth, health, comfort, and of her modest 
savings," appears to be largely the issue of her own insight, and 
deliberation. Later on, in Paris, she speaks as if it were her own 
" artistic conscience " whose dictates she had obeyed. Certainly, it 
was left to her own courage and resolution to find the funds by 

(32 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vii. 

-which to carry it out. And it was, for this end, that she had 
akeady in the summer of 1840 set out on a provincial round of 
concerts, accompanied by her father ; in which she, probably, 
wore out what remained of her voice after the hard work of the 
theatrical season, but, in compensation, won triumphant successes 
and accumulated supplies that would carry her through a year's 
training at Paris, whither she was determined to go and discover 
the true secret of song. 

We have a letter from her written, in the middle of this tour, 
towards the early part of July, to her friend Louise Johansson, 
from Malmo, at the extreme south of Sweden, whence she could 
actually see Copenhagen, in which she records how things have 
i^'one in the series of towns through which she has passed. " The 
journey has gone off well enough, thank God ! That is to say, 
the roads were so bad that the wheels, now and then, sank a foot 
deep into the mud, and it was very horrid sitting about in the 
atrocious weather ; but as soon as I arrive in a town, and see the 
exceeding great kindness and friendliness the people have for me, 
then I feel it wicked to grumble. You cannot think to what an 
extent they all vie with each other in serving me. It is quite 
astonishing ! " 

The letter closes with a commission which shows how very early 
in life her characteristic charities had begun : — 

" My dear Louisa, would you be kind enough to render me the 
service of going to Clara Yestra, Kyrkogata lo or 25. I am not 
sure which of these numbers is the right one, but after you have 
crossed the Clara churchyard, and when you arrive at the gate on 
the Yestragatan, turn to the left, then it is the first door on the 
right-hand side, on the ground floor. Ask for Bruhn, the painter, 
a poor sick man ill in bed these last fourteen years ; I forgot to 
bring him his monthly allowance, before coming away ; will you 
be good enough to give him, on my behalf, 8 r. d. banco, and to 
tell" him this is for the months of July and August. Greet him 
much from me, as also his wife, and pardon your friend who 
troubles you in this way. " Jenny." 

A note is here struck, which is to sound on through her life. 
It expresses one of the most vital instincts of her nature — an 
instinct which roots itself deep down in her artistic impulses — this 
instinct which bids her dedicate her gift to the cause of the poor, 
and the unhappy. That in her which made her an artist, made 

1840-41.] PILGKIMAGE. G3 

her also charitable. It was the sense of possessing a gift which 
prompts the giving. That which had flowed in, mnst flow out. 
She was responsible for her great possession ; she held it in trust ; 
she must put it out to use. It was no mere liberality of dis- 
position ; it was no mere genial beneficence ; it was an obligation, 
binding, and urgent ; a joyful duty ; a holy privilege which it 
would be a sin to neglect. Everything in her which made her 
recognise the powers lodged in her to be a divine endowment, made 
her, by a like impulse, recognise her duty to give away what she 
gained. No one will understand her, who does not see how closely 
her charity was interwoven with her art ; and how it was that, in 
after days, in deciding the question of marriage, she made it the 
prime necessity that her husband should leave her free in her 
charities. It is because it was so interwoven, that it seemed to 
her to be no work of merit ; it was done by a plain law of right ; 
it was spontaneous, natural, inevitable. So it is that already, at 
twenty, in the flush of youth and personal success, her nature is at 
work with instinctive security ; she has found out the poor sick 
painter ; and, quite modestly apologising for the trouble, just as 
if she were giving a commission to buy something at a shop, she 
begs her friend to see to it that he gets Avhat he had the right to 
look for from her. 

Back to Stockholm she got in August, where she was singing 
in Lucia di Lammermoor, on August 19th ; and all through the 
autumn, and spring, she is hard at work, fulfilhng her bond to 
the Directors, though, owing to her concert-tour, she had had no 
holiday whatever. No wonder, that her voice was left fatigued 
and strained after such un intermittent work, with all the weariness 
of incessant journeys, and the anxieties that beset new appearances 
in unfamihar rooms. It was in this effort to raise funds by which 
to reach Paris, that she ran so near to doing irreparable damage 
to her vocal powers. Twenty-three times does she perform in 
■Liiria^ between August 10th, when she returned, and June 19th, 
when she closed her engagement. Fourteen times did she give 
" Alice," in Eolerto ; and nine times she repeated her former role 
of " Agatha " in the Freischutz. And, besides these, there were 
incidental appearances ; in the Zcmlerflote as " Pamina " ; in The 
Swiss Family as " Emmelina " ; and, seven times, as " Alaida " in 
Bellini's Straniera. And, moreover, there were concerts at the 
theatre, in which she sans:, on August 27th, and October 17th, 

64 JENNY LIND. [bk. i. ch. vii. 

and November 14th, and on January llth and 20th. And, 
finally, for the closing nights in May and June, came her first 
seven performances of Norma, At the last of the concerts, she 
had sung, as her piece, a duet from Norma, with Mme. Gelhaar, 
her old playmate in the school. And, on May 19th, the full opera 
was produced, in which her own people recognised, and greeted, 
one of her most brilliant and impressive impersonations. 

With Norma she ended, on June 19th ; it was her 447th 
appearance on the boards of the Eoyal Theatre, since, as a tiny 
child of ten, she played " Angela " in The Polish Mine, on 
November 29th, 1830. The Directors had, indeed, been justified 
by the venture they made with the little creature, whom they sent 
on the stage to dance and sing before she had been many months 
at the school. She had well repaid them. For her sixty-nine 
performances in the year 1840, she is only receiving, besides the 
regulation play money, 1100 r. d. banco — about £95 a year. Her 
voice is fatigued, and w^orn ; she has done more work than she 
could rightly afford. But her spirit is not looking back, but 
ahead. She is not calculating her present gains ; but is all on fire 
with the great hope, that is astir within her, at the bidding of 
which she will wander out, a pilgrim of Art, seeking the better 
country, sure that there is a vision to be seen, a victory to be 
won, to which as yet she has not even come nigh. 

She has found her opportunity; and has made her resolution. 
Some good, kind friends, M. and Madame von Koch, in whose 
house she found constant friendship and affection, have arranged 
for her journey, and have lent her a maid, as a companion. A 
safe road is thus laid open for her to Paris. So, on June 21st, 
she gave, in the Ladugardslands Church, a final concert on 
her own behalf, singing an aria from Anna Bolena, and another 
from Norma ; winding up with a ' Lyrical Farewell,' written and 
composed, for the occasion, by Lindblad ; and, in July, she leaves 
the Lindblads' house, and enters on the pilgrimage which was to 
mean so much. Home has been gracious to her ; she loves her 
country which has loved her so freely ; her one desire is to return 
to Stockholm, worthy of the enthusiasm which it has poured 
about her. But home cannot tell her the great secret. Some- 
where else it lies, far off ; she must seek it, and find it, even 
though, on its behalf, she sacrifice " youth, health, comfort, 
labour, and savings." 

( 05 ) 

BOOK 11. 



On Thursday, the first of July, 1841, Mdlle. Lind embarked, on the 
steamship Gauthiod, for Liibeck ; attended by a trusty female 
companion, recommended to her by Madame von Koch. 

" The dear little girl," wrote Madame Lindblad, " was almost 
crushed. I never thought that it would cost her so much. On 
the last night she never slept, but wrote letters the whole night 
through, coming occasionally into our rooms to have a good cry. 
On the first of July she left, at 11 o'clock, a.m." 

After a few days of rest and enjoyment, she proceeded with her 
companion to Havre by the steamboat ; and thence, by diligence, 
to Paris. 

To a nature so sensitive, the change from the natural 
simplicity of domestic life in Sweden, to the restless activity of the 
French capital, with its crowded streets, its ceaseless craving for 
pleasure and excitement, its passion for amusement, its caprices of 
fashion, and above all, its splendid theatres, its art-collections, and 
priceless opportunities for mental cultivation and improvement — 
to such a nature, all this, so new, so unexpected, and, in manv 
respects, so strangely incomprehensible, must have been fraught 
with an all-absorbing interest. 

And we must not forget, that the Paris of fifty years ago 
was a city, very different from, and, in many respects, very 
much more interesting than, that in which it delights us to 
spend our holidays to-day — an older Paris, as different from the 


66 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. i. 

Paris of to-day, as the Hamburg of to-day is, from the Hamburg 
that suffered in the conflagration of 1842. 

It was to this older Paris that Mdlle. Lind repaired, in the 
summer of the year 1841, in the hope of perfecting herself in 
the technicalities of the Art she so dearly loved — that Art of 
Singing, of whose mysteries she knew so little, and longed to know 
so much ; and the details of which she found it so impossible to 
acquire satisfactorily in Stockholm. 

For her advancement in Dramatic Art, she trusted to herself 
alone. No one could teach her to act, and she sought no teacher, 
for her method was part of herself ; she needed no help for this. 
But her need of a competent Maestro di Canto was a very pressing 
one, indeed ; and she had long been convinced that one, and one 
only, could teach her what she so much desired to know. But it 
will be readily understood that the assistance and hearty co- 
operation of such a master as she needed were not to be had for 
the mere asking ; and some little time elapsed before her desire 
was accomplished. 

On first reaching Paris, she found a comfortable home with a 
family named Ruffiaques, who kept a boarding-house, in a street 
near the Pue Neuve des Augustins. 

Here, she was visited by Madame Berg, the wife of her former 
singing-master, who was then staying in Paris, with her little 
invalid son, Albert ; and, also, by Herr Blumm, a Swedish gentle- 
man of kindliest disposition and infinite honliomie, who held 
the appointment of Chancelier to the Swedish Legation, in the 
Pue d'Anjou, and to whom she was indebted for innumerable 
acts of courtesy and kindness, during the period of her residence 
in Paris. 

On leaving Sweden, she had brought with her letters of 
introduction from Queen Desideria,* to her relative, the 
Duchesse de Dalmatic (Madame la Marechale Soult) ; and, soon 
after her arrival in Paris, she was invited by this lady to an after- 
noon reception. It was understood that she would be asked 
to sing : and, by invitation of the Duchesse, Signer Manuel 
Garcia, the brother of Madame Malibran and Madame Yiardot, 
and the most renowned Maestro di Canto in Europe, came to 
hear her. 

♦ The wife of Marechal Bernadotte, who became King of Sweden and 
Norway, in the year 1818, tinder the title of Karl XIV. Johann. 

1841.] IN PARIS. 67 

She sang some Swedish songs, accompanying herself on the 
pianoforte ; but, either through nervousness, or fatigue, she 
does not appear to have done herself justice, and her singing 
seems to have produced no very favourable effect upon the 
assembled guests. Her voice was worn, not only from over- 
exertion, but from want of that careful management which can 
only be acquired by long training under a thoroughly competent 
master. Such training she had never had. She had formed 
her own ideal of the difficult roles that had been entrusted to her 
at the Royal Theatre in Stockholm, and had tried to reach that 
ideal by the only means she knew of — means, very pernicious 
indeed. The result was, that the voice had been very cruelly 
injured. The mischief had been seriously aggravated by the 
fatigue consequent upon her long and arduous provincial tour ; 
and the effect was a chi'onic hoarseness, painful enough to 
produce marked symptoms of deterioration upon the fresh young 
voice, which had never been taught either the method of 
production, or the cultivation of style necessary for the develop- 
ment of its natural charm. 

Signor Garcia was not slow to perceive all this ; and he 
afterwards told a lady, who questioned him upon the subject, 
that Mdlle. Lind was, at that time, altogether wanting in the 
qualities needed for presentation before a highly-cultivated 

Soon after this, Mdlle. Lind called, by appointment, upon Signor 
Garcia, who then occupied a pleasant deuxihne etage, in a large 
block of houses in the Square d'Orleans, near the Rue Saint 
Lazare. As, on this occasion, she formally requested the great 
Maestro to receive her as a pupil, he felt it his duty to examine 
her voice more carefully than he had been able to do at Madame 
Soult's afternoon party ; and, after making her sing through the 
usual scales, and forming his own opinion of the power and 
compass of the vocal registers, he asked her to sing the well- 
known scena from Lucia di Lammermoor — ^'- Perche non ho.'''' In 
this, unhappily, she broke completely down — in all probability, 
through nervousness, for she had appeared in the part of " Lucia," 
at the Stockholm Theatre, no less than thirty-nine times only the 
year before, and the music must, therefore, have been more than 
familiar to her. However, let the cause have been what it might, 
the failure was complete ; and, upon the strength of it, the 

F 2 

68 JENNY LIND. [bk. n. ch. i. 

IMaestro pronounced his terrible verdict — " It would be useless to 
teach you, Mademoiselle ; you have no voice left " — " Mademoiselle, 
vous 7i''avezpJ2(s de roixy * 

The effect of this sentence of hopeless condemnation upon an 
organisation so highly strung as that of Mdlle. Lind may be 
easily conceived. But her courage was equal to the occasion, 
though she told Mendelssohn, years afterwards, that the anguish 
of that moment exceeded all that she had ever suffered in her 
whole life. Yet, her faith in her own powers never wavered for 
an instant. There was a fire within her that no amount of dis- 
couragement could ever quench. 

Instead, therefore, of accepting his verdict as a final one, she 
asked, with tears in her eyes, what she was to do. Her trust in 
the Maestro'' s judgment was no less firm than that which she felt 
in the reality of her own vocation. In the full conviction that, 
if she could only persuade him to advise her, his counsel would 
prove invaluable, she did not hesitate to make the attempt ; and 
the result fully justified the soundness of her conclusions. Moved 
by her evident distress, he recommended her to give her voice 
six weeks of perfect rest ; to abstain, during the whole of that 
time, from singing even so much as one single note ; and to 
speak as little as possible. And, upon condition that she strictly 
carried out these injunctions, he gave her permission to come 
to him again, when the period of probation was ended, in 
order that he might then see whether anything could be done 
for her. 

To any really earnest aspirant, six weeks of enforced idleness 
would have been a martyrdom. For Mdlle. Lind, such a period 
of inaction was simply impossible. Disobedience to the Maestro'' s 
orders was, of course, out of the question. But, if she was for- 
bidden to sing, or to speak, she was, at least, permitted to read, 
and write. Never doubting, for a moment, of her ultimate success, 
she knew that she would, one day, have to sing in Italian, and 
possibly, also, in French. She therefore spent the six weary weeks 

* It is necessaiy that these words should be very distinctly recorded ; for, 
their frequent misquotation, in the newspapers, and elsewhere, has led to a 
very false impression, equally unjust to master and pupil. The Maestro's 
exact words were, '* Mademoiselle, vous n'avez plus de voix " — not, " Vous 
rHavez pas de voix." Mdlle. Lind had once possessed a voice; but it had 
been so strained, by over-exertion, and a faulty method of production, that, 
for the time being, scarcely a shred of it remained. 

1841.] IN PAEIS. 69 

in the diligent stndy of those languages ; and there are actually 
in existence, at this moment, no less than sixty-one large foolscap 
pages, in her own handwriting, closely filled with exercises in 
Italian grammar, and twenty-three similar pages in French, the 
greater part of which appear to have been completed during this 
trying period ; not mere scattered memoranda, but systematic 
work, genders of nouns, conjugations of irregular verbs, long lists 
of exceptions, and other like matters, such as would have been 
executed by an industrious student on the eve of a severe critical 

But, the time was a weary one, nevertheless. Her nerves were 
excited to the last degree of tension, and never did she forget the 
exasperating effect of the cries which, day after day, reached her, 
from the street, as the long dull hours dragged on. Two of these 
she imitated, sometimes, when speaking of her Paris life, in the 
presence of her daughter, who thus noted down the " words and 



Ha - ri - cots, ha - ri - cots vertt 

le vi 

The first of these street-melodies speaks for itself. The second 
is the cry of a wandering glazier ; and may still be heard, in the 
poorer streets of Paris, sung by men who carry panes of glass on 
their backs, to mend broken windows. 

Intense indeed must have been the relief, when the time of 
probation expired, at last. Once more, Mdlle. Lind sought an 
interview with the master ; and, this time, her hopes were crowned 
with success. Signor Garcia found the voice so far re-established, 
by rest, that he was able to give good hope of its complete restora- 
tion, provided that the faulty method of production which had so 
nearly resulted in its destruction was abandoned ; and, with the 
view of attaining this important end, he agreed to give her two 
lessons, regularly, every week — an arrangement which set all her 

70 JENNY LIND. [bk. ir. ch. i. 

anxieties at rest, and for which she was deeply grateful, to the 
end of her life.* 

The delight of the artist, at being once more permitted to sing, 
may be readily imagined. Though discouraged, sometimes, by 
the immense amount she had to learn — and, with still greater 
difficulty, to un-learn — she never lost heart ; and so rapidly did 
the vocal organs recover from the exhaustion from which they 
had been suffering, that, before long, she was able to practise her 
scales and exercises for many hom'S daily. 

The lessons appear to have begun about the twenty-fifth, or 
twenty-sixth of August ; and to have been continued, twice a 
week, from that period, until the month of July, 1842. 

Mdlle. Lind thus describes her first introduction to the new 
system, in a letter to her friend, Froken Marie Euckman : — 

"Paris, Sept. 10,1841. 
" I have already had five lessons from Signor G-arcia, the brother 
of Madame Malibran. I have to begin again, from the beginning ; 
to sing scales, up and down, slowly, and with great care ; then, to 
practise the shake — awfully slowly ; and, to try to get rid of the 
hoarseness, if possible. Moreover, he is very particular about the 
breathing. I trust I have made a happy choice. Anyhow, he is 
the best master ; and, expensive enough — twenty francs for an 
hour. But, what does that signify, if only he can teach me to 
sing ? Mdlle. Nissen has been his pupil, now, for two years, and 
has made immense progress." 

A fortnight later, she writes to Madame Lindblad : — 

" I am well satisfied with my singing-master. With regard to 
my weak points, especially, he is excellent. I think it very 
fortunate for me that there exists a Garcia. And I believe him, 
also, to be a very good man. If he takes but little notice of us, 
apart from his lessons — well ! — that cannot be helped : but I am 
very much pleased, nay ! enchanted with him as a teacher." f 

And, again, to Herr Expeditionschef Forsberg : — • 

* The exact date of these two interviews with Signor Garcia cannot now 
be ascertained. 

t This, and all other extracts from the collection of letters in the 
Lindblad family, have been kindly furnished by Madame Grandinson, (ne^ 

1811.] IN PAEIS. 71 

"Paris, February 1, 1842. 
" Garcia's method is the best, of onr time ; and the one which 
all here are striving to follow." 

And, it is pleasant to know that the Maestro was equally well 
pleased with his pupil, who, in a still later letter, writes ; — • 

" Paris, March 7, 1842. 

" You know, to-day, four years ago, I made my debut in Der 
Freischilfz. — No ! five years ago, I mean. No ! it is four, I think. 
— "VYell ! yes ! I do not know. — Anyhow, it was on the 7th of 

" My singing is getting on quite satisfactorily, now. I rejoice 
heartily in my voice ; it is clear, and sonorous, with more 
firmness, and much greater agility. A great, great deal still 
remains to be done ; but the worst is over. G-arcia is satisfied 
with me." 

The teaching she now received was, evidently, the exact thing 
Mdlle. Lind needed. Of the management of the breath, 
the production of the voice, the blending of its registers, and 
other technical details upon which the most perfect of singers 
depends, in great measure, for ^uccess, she knew nothing — and, 
but for Signer Garcia, in all probability never would have known 
anything. But, of that which concerned the higher life of her 
art, neither Signer Garcia nor any one else could teach her 
anything at all. She evidently felt this, herself ; for, long years 
afterwards, she wrote : — 

" The greater part of what I can do in my Axt, I have myself 
acquired, by incredible labour, in spite of astonishing difficulties. 
By Garcia alone have I been taught some few important things. 
God had so plainly written within me what I had to study ; my 
ideal was, and is, so high, that I could find no mortal who could 
in the least degree satisfy my demands. Therefore I sing after 
no one's method — only, as far as I am able, after that of the 
birds ; for, their Master was the only one who came up to my 
demands for truth, clearness, and expression." | 

But, though thus dependent upon her own natural genius for 

" The d:^ut reall^ 

I pp. 35-36. 

t See note, p. 11. 

♦ The d^ut really took place on March 7, 1838; i.e. "four years ago. 
See pp. 35-36 

72 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. i. 

the high qualities which placed her above the greatest of her 
contemporaries in everything which concerned her loftiest 
aspirations in the realm of Art, she was none the less grateful 
to Signor Garcia for the " few important things " which gave her 
her first practical insight into the technique of singing — an 
insight, without which, as she herself felt, she would never have 
been able to bring her own great artistic ideal to perfection. 



For some few weeks after her first interview with Signor Garcia, 
and her subsequent entrance upon a course of regular study 
under his guidance, Mdlle. Lind continued to reside with 
Madame Ruffiaques. But she soon awoke to the conviction that 
a boarding-house was scarcely a fitting place for continuous and 
undisturbed study ; and — a still more serious consideration — she 
found that the terms for board and lodging were too high for her 
slender means. It was really necessary that she should go to a 
cheaper and a more convenient home ; but the removal was not 
effected without tears on either side. Madame Ruffiaques cried 
bitterly when she left, saying that they had all "hoped for a 
longer stay on her part," and " could scarcely have believed such 
dignity of conduct possible in a young person coming alone to 
Paris." But it was indispensable that the step should be taken. 
Towards the close of October, therefore, she removed to the 
house of Mdlle. du Puget ; a lady, who, though not a Swede 
by birth, had been educated in Sweden, was thoroughly Swedish 
in all her thoughts and habits, and had familiarised the 
French with the literature of Sweden by her excellent translations 
of many well-known Swedish works. 

Though a pleasant, and, in many ways, a sympathetic 
companion, Mdlle. du Puget was not free from certain 
amusing peculiarities which Mdlle. Lind occasionally described 
with genuine good humour. In a letter to Madame Lindblad, 
dated, " Paris, November 2G, IStll," she narrates an amusing 
little episode : — 

" You must know that I am beginning to be an ape — a fact 
of which I was not aware until yesterday. I was singing to 
Mdlle. du Puget, and she seemed a little bit surprised when, 
just once or twice, I displayed all my powers — you know what I 

74 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. it. 

mean — and she looked at me as if she had not given me credit 
for this. (Mdlle. du Puget — you must know — is a person who 
has heard all the great artists, and is herself musical.) First, 
I sang ' in Persiani's style,' and then ' in Grisi's ' ; and she was 
kind enough to say it was excellently imitated — 'could not, in 
fact, be better.' The compliment was rather hard to digest. I 
was so ashamed, that, for a long while, I could not look up. 
But, after a considerable pause, I asked, ' Do you really think so ? ' 
— with a feeling of pride which my look — even the look of my 
back — must surely have reflected. God help me ! I am so proud 
that I cannot bear people to tell me I ' imitate.' I loathe the 
very word to such an extent that I cannot conceive what its 
inventor was thinking of ! It seems to me, that to take what is 
another's, and use it for one's self, and then to make believe that 
it is one's own, is positively to steal. But, I seize so quickly the 
impression of what is good, or bad, that I should not feel sur- 
prised if I have caught something from the Italian Opera, which 
I have already visited pretty frequently. But be this as it may, 
the reminiscences I am carrying away from the Italian Opera 
here are much better than those connected with Stockholm and 
the school and style that prevail there." 

But Mdlle. Lind was not deprived of the companionship 
of critics better able than Mdlle. du Puget to appreciate her 
talents at their true value. Her most intimate friend, at this 
period, was Mdlle. Henrietta Nissen,* who was also a pupil 
of Garcia, and a great favourite with the master. The two 
talented young vocalists frequently sang together ; and, before 
long, a feeling of generous rivalry sprang up between them, 
which must have been of infinite advantage to both. Mdlle. 
Lind thus describes her young friend in a letter to Madame 
Lindblad : — 

"Paris, August 19, 1841. 

"Yesterday I went to see Mdlle. Nissen, to whom I go 
pretty often ; and we sang to one another. She has a beautiful 
voice. Still, I think I agree with what Adolf once said — ' it is 
getting a little thin in the upper notes.' But, notwithstanding 
this, it is a splendid voice. In future we are going to have 
music together at Herr Blumm's." 

The meetings at Herr Blumm's became an institution. A 
month later, she writes : — 

* Afterwards, Madame Siegfried Saloman, 

1841.] THE STUDENT. 75 

" Paris, September 19, 1841. 
" I am just expecting Philippe * — not King Philippe ! — who 
is going to take me to Herr Blumm's, where Mdlle. Nissen 
is waiting for us, with an old relative of hers ; and we four 
are going somewhere into the country for the day. She is a 
very sweet girl. I am really glad to have made her acquaintance. 
The divine song draws us to each other." 

But there were other bonds of sympathy between them, besides 

those cemented by their mutual love for " the divine song." 

When Christmas drew near, Mdlle. Lind's heart was torn by 

yearnings for home. As the time approached she wrote to 

Madame Lindblad : — 

" Paris, December 9, 1841. 

^' Do you know what I am doing, besides writing to you ? I 
am munching away — at what ? — just guess ! — at a bit of genuine 
Swedish KnllcJcehrdd,^ which Herr Blumm has brought me. . . . 
Ah ! think of me, when you go to the Julotta,X for it is the most 
glorious thing your poor Jenny knows of." 

And again : — 

"Paris, December 16, 1841. 

" Ah ! who ? who will light the Christmas Tree for my mother ? 
Xo one ; no one ! She has no child who can bring her the least 
pleasure. If you knew how she is ever before me ! how constantly 
she is in my thoughts ! how she gives me courage to work ! how 
I love her, as I never loved her before ! " 

And, in the midst of this cruel burst of home-sickness, good 
Mademoiselle du Puget bethought her of an expedient, of which 
we hear in another letter, written four days after Christmas : — 

"Paris, December 29, 1841. 

" C-hristmas Eve passed off better than I expected ; for 
Mademoiselle du Puget went to fetch the dear sweet Nissen, and, 
all of a sudden, as I was standing in my room alone, she came 
creeping in to me. We sang duets together — but my thoughts 
strayed homewards." 

* Philippe was an old servant of Herr Blumm's, who, with his charac- 
teristic kindness and courtesy, sent him to attend Mdlle. Lind'to and from 
her lessons with Garcia. 

t A kind of rye bread, baked in large thin round cakes, with a hole in the 
middle, by which they are hung up in bundles, and thus kept fresh for a 
long time. 

X The early Service, on Christmas Day. 

76 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. ii. 

It is beautiful, as the time progresses, to mark the utter absence 
of jealousy which characterised this rare artistic friendship between 
two young students, each of whom had a reputation to ensure, and 
a name to render famous. 

On April 3, 1S4:'2, she writes : — 

" Do you know that Nissen is just upon the point of concluding 
an engagement for three years at the Italian Opera ? For the 
first year, she is offered four thousand riksdaler banco ; * and, 
when the three years are over, she will, no doubt, be able to com- 
mand from sixty to seventy thousand riksdaler banco f per annum. 
Ah, yes ! God help her ! She is a nice good girl. Yet, notwith- 
standing all this, I am contented with my own lot, and would not 
change with any one, though my prospects for the future are poor, 
and dark." 

And again on May 1 : — 

" I am not depressed on Mademoiselle Nissen's account. Ah, 
no ! Besides, how foolish it would be not to stand aside for a 
merit greater than my own — and this I do. Thank God ! I feel 
no jealousy, and — shall I tell you ? — it is true that I can never 
get her voice ; but I am quite satisfied with my own. And, 
furthermore, I shall be able, in time, to learn all that she knows ; 
but she can never learn what I know. Do you understand ? 
She is a nice girl ; and, with all my heart, I wish her every 
happiness. Her stay here is of great advantage to me, for she 
spurs me on." 

In truth, every brilliant manifestation of real talent served 
only to spur Mademoiselle Lind on to still greater exertions on 
her own account. She was a constant attendant at the Italian 
Opera ; and recorded her impressions of the principal performers 
with the most perfect frankness. In one letter she writes : — 

" Oh ! if you could have heard Madame Persiani sing in La 
Sonnamhula, yesterday ! Oh ! oh ! it was beautiful ! " 

Of Grisi, though she admired her greatly as an actress, she 
spoke less enthusiastically ; and, especially, of her shake, which, 
she said, was not good. Indeed, this particular grace was then 

* Equal to 8,000 francs ; or £320 sterling. 

t It is possible that this may be a lapsus calami, for "six to seven 
thousand "—i.e. 12,000 to 14,000 francs, or £480 to £5G0. The larger sum 
seems improbable, to the last degree. 

1841.] THE STUDENT. 77 

but very little cultivated in the Italian School, from an idea — 
entirely fallacious — that its frequent practice was deleterious to 
the voice. 

But Mademoiselle Lind's observations were not confined to the 
Italian Opera, or to singing alone. She was a great admirer of 
Mademoiselle Rachel ; and studied her performances with peculiar 
interest. In one of her letters she writes : — 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 

"There is a remarkable dearth of good actresses here. 
Mademoiselle Rachel is the only one — after her, Grisi." 

And again : — 

" Paris, November 20, 1841. 

" Shall I tell you my thoughts ? The difference between 
Mademoiselle Rachel and myself is, that she can be splendid when 
angry, but she is unsuited for tenderness. I am desperately 
ugly, and nasty too, when in anger ; but I think I do better in 
tender parts. Of com'se, I do not compare myself with Rachel. 
Certainly not. She is immeasurably greater than I. Poor 

It is evident from this, that, while striving, with all her might, 
to master the technical difficulties of singing under the guidance 
of Signer Garcia, Mademoiselle Lind never, for a moment, forgot 
the importance of the dramatic element. Her correspondence 
teems with observations which show how constantly her thoughts 
were dw^elling upon this important point. In one more than 
ordinarily interesting letter, she writes : — 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 

*' I am longing for home. I am longing for my theatre. I 
have never said this before, in any of my letters. I know I am 
contradicting myself, but I rejoice over it. Oh ! to pour out 
my feelings in a beautiful part ! This is, and ever will be, my 
continual aim ; and, until I stand there again, I shall not know 
myself as I really am. Life on the stage has in it something so 
fascinating, that I think, having once tasted it, one can never feel 
truly happy away from it, especially when one has given oneself 
wholly up to it, with life and soiil, as I have done. This has been 
my joy, my pride, my glory ! True, it is a great thing to be free 
from all the worries connected with it ; but, when I return home, 
I know not what people could have to reproach me with. Then 
the die will be cast ; and I shaU not change very much for the 

78 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. ji. 

better after that, I suppose — and, consequently, things will be 

Later on she writes : — 

"Paris, March?, 1842. 

" Sometimes I act by myself ; and it seems to me that I have 
gained more feeling, more verve, more truth in my rendering ; 
at least, I feel, now, better than I used to do, what life really is. 
It is just possible that I may not act as well as before ; but I 
do not think so. Nobody acts as I act. What do you say to 
such language as this ? But, you will not misunderstand me." 

But there were moments of doubt, bordering sometimes almost 
upon despondency. On one occasion she says : — 

" Paris, May 30, 1842. 
" Then Garcia pretends to believe that I shall never more act in 
tragic parts ! * What do you think of that ? I leave him to say 
what he pleases. In the meantime, may God preserve me from 
being altogether bewildered ! I do not think there is any danger. 
I acted ' Normal this morning, and it was not much worse than 
at Stockholm." 

In the midst of these alternations of hope and anxiety, the 
studies were interrupted, for a moment, by a sudden shock — a 
merciful escape from an accident of the most frightful possible 

On the 8th of May, the Baroness Schwerin accompanied 
Mademoiselle Lind on an excursion to Versailles. 

Herr Blumm was anxious that the party should return to Paris 
by a train which would give them an opportunity of passing 
through some very beautiful scenery on their way home. But, 
that very morning, the Prefet de Police offered the Baroness a 
box at one of the theatres. In order to render this available, the 
plans were changed at the last moment ; and it was not until after 
their return, that the little party of friends' learned that the 
train by which they intended to travel had been wrecked by the 
bursting of the boiler, and that, of the four hundred persons who 
were injured by the explosion, one hundred were either scalded 

* Possibly, Mdlle. Lind's idea of tragedy may have differed from Sigiior 
Garcia's. On such a point, the Scandinavian and the Keltic temperament 
were scarcely likely to be in very close accordance. 

1842.] THE STUDENT. 79 

to death, or cut to pieces, in a manner too horrible for descrip- 

Mademoiselle Lind's account of the occurrence shows that it 
affected her very deeply indeed. But her nature was not of the weak 
type which is rendered unfit for exertion by a sudden fear, how- 
ever great may have been its effect at the moment ; and her 
subsequent letters show that after the first burst of thankfulness 
was over, she was at work again as heartily as ever. She had 
come to Paris to work ; and she left undone nothing which could 
tend to perfect her in the art to which every energy of her life 
was devoted. 

C 80 ) 



Mdlle. Lind's course of study, under Signor Garcia, lasted ten 
months, from the 2Gth or 27th of August, 1841, to the end of 
June, 1812 — by which time she had learned all that it was possible 
for any master to teach her. 

The result for which she had so ardently longed, so patiently 
waited, so perseveringly laboured, was attained at last. Her 
voice, no longer suffering from the effect of the cruel fatigue, and 
the inordinate amount of over-exertion which had so lately 
endangered, not merely its well-being, but its very existence, had. 
now far more than recovered its pristine vigour — it had acquired 
a rich depth of tone, a sympathetic sweetness, a birdlike charm in 
the silvery clearness of its upper register, which at once impressed 
the listener with the feeling that he had never before heard any- 
thing in the least degree resembling it. 

No human organ is perfect. It is quite possible that other 
voices may have possessed qualities which this did not ; for voices 
of exceptional beauty are nearly always characterised by an in- 
dividuality of expression which forms by no means the least potent 
of their attractions. But, the listener never stopped to analyse 
the qualities of Mdlle. Lind's voice, the marked individuality 
of which set analysis at defiance. By turns, full, sympathetic, 
tender, sad, or brilliant, it adapted itself so perfectly to the 
artistic conception of the song it was interpreting, that singer, 
voice, and song, were one. 

"With such rare power at command, Mdlle. Lind was able, 
without effort, to give expression to every phase of the conception 
which she had originally formed by the exercise of innate genius 
alone. Her acting, as we have seen, in former chapters, had grown 
up with her from her infancy, and formed part of her inmost being. 
Slie had found no one in Paris capable of teaching her anything 


that could improve that, though she thought it necessary to take 
lessons in deportment. The rest she had studied for herself, 
though she had naturally gained experience by observation of 
others. With fearless modesty, she had measured her own powers 
against those of Mdlle. Rachel, and dared to tell herself what she 
believed to be the truth, with regard to their comparative merits. 
She had acted the part of Xonna to herself, and calmly passed 
judgment upon her own performance. That she was satisfied 
with it we cannot doubt ; for she had studied the difficult character 
of her heroine to such good purpose, that she had reconciled all its 
apparent incongruities, and elevated it into a consistent whole, 
dramatic and musical, breathing poetry and romance from be- 
ginning to end, yet, as true to nature as she was herself, and no 
longer fettered by the fatal technical weakness which had so 
long stood between her ideal and its perfect realisation. There 
was no weakness now. The Artist was complete. 

And now arose the crucial question — should the finished Artist 
make her debut in Paris ? — or, should she return, at once, to 
Sweden, and reappear, in all the glory of her newly-acquired 
powers, in her beloved Stockholm ? 

There were arguments to be brought forward on both sides. The 
problem was no new one. It had frequently been discussed ; but 
her own feeling on the subject was very strong indeed. She could 
not reconcile herself to Paris. From the very first, she had 
suspected the hoUowness of its social organisation. As early as 
the lOfch of September, 1841, she had written to her friend, 
Froken Marie Ruckman : — 

"My best Frie^^d, — 

" There might be much to say about Paris, but I put it 
off until 1 am better able to judge. This much, however, I will 
say at once, that, if good is sometimes to be found, an immeasur- 
able amount of evil is to be found also. But, I beheve it to be an 
excellent school for any one with discernment enough to separate 
the rubbish from that which is worth preserving — though this is 
no easy task. To my mind, the worst feature of Paris is, its 
dreadful selfishness, its greed for money. There is nothing to 
which the people will not submit, for the sake of gain, x^pplause, 

82 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. hi. 

here, is not always given to talent ; but, often enough, to vice — 
to any obscure person who can afford to pay for it. Ugh ! It is 
too dreadful to see the claqueurs sitting at the theatre, night after 
night, deciding the fate of those Avho are compelled to appear — a 
terrible manifestation of original sin ! " 

To Madame Lindblad, some six w^eks later, she writes : — • 

" Paris, October 24, 1841. 

" All idea of appearing here in public has vanished. To begin 
with — I myself never relied upon it ; but people said so many 
silly things about ' just one performance,' that, at last, I began to 
feel as if I were in duty bound to try. But, monstrous and un- 
conquerable difficulties are in the way. In any case, I want to go 
home again. But, if I can arrange to sing at a concert, before 
leaving, I will do so ; in order that I may not return home without 
having at least done something." 

Three months later, in a letter dated February the 1st, 1842, 
and addressed to Herr Expeditionschef Forsberg (who controlled 
the Dramatic School attached to the E. Theatre at Stockholm at 
the time at which Jenny was numbered among its pupils), we 
find her dwelling touchingly on her desire to consecrate her 
talents to her native country. 

" I came hither," she says, " because I felt my talent too in- 
significant. I knew, indeed, that it was not really so. But, 
having no one to consult but my dear Herr Berg — who was. 
miserable at his inability to help me through with my incessant 
work — I resolved simply to break off, and to take two years' leave 
of absence. 

" I am working on, now ; have made progress ; and — need I 
say it — if they want to hear me again, in my Sweden, with what 
joy will I not hasten thither ! I have only made these sacrifices, 
in order that I may become worthy of the public ; and, if I 
do not succeed, I shall, at all events, have satisfied my artist's 

" Therefore, Herr Expeditionschef, if I can only learn to sing, 
I shall certainly return, in a year and a half ; but, not if I meet 
with coldness, or am regarded as altogether unnecessary. I am 
almost afraid of that. I do not wish to stand in the way of any 
one. Ptather than that, I would settle down here to give singing- 
lessons ; for Garcia's method is the best of our time, and every 
one, here, is striving to follow it. But, in any case, I shall come 


home, in order that people may hear what progress I have made 
— if I really have made any. \Vill they accept me, and give me 
a suitable engagement ? If so, I shall remain. If not, I shall 
go abroad again." 

"When the time for arriving at a decision began to draw near, 
she wrote to Madame Lindblad : — 

" Paris, April 3, 1842. 

" I dare not tell yon how I long for home ! I dare not tell 
you how far from happy I feel, here ! but, there is one thing in 
your letter that really frightens me. You say, that, if I come 
back, without having previously appeared in public, here, they 
will say that I was nob lit for it, howe-ver well I may sing. Ho ! 
ho I what will happen, then ? It might, perhaps, be better for 
me to engage myself somewhere as nursery-maid ; for it is a very 
difficult thing to appear, here, in public. On the stage it would 
be out of the question. It could only be in the concert-room : 
and there I am at my weakest point, and shall always remain so. 
What is wanted here is — ' admirers.' Were I inclined to receive 
them, all would be smooth sailing. But there I say — stop ! 

" To sing, without a name, is difficult ; for, here, everything 
depends upon the accessories. It matters not how little talent 
there may be. My position is, indeed, a hard one ! If only I 
belonged to a country having more self-confidence when passing 
judgment on its own artists, then, all would be well. But, the 
misfortune is, that they never believe in themselves. However, I 
have never said that I should appear in public, though others have." 

A week later she wrote to her father : — • 

"Paris, April 10, 1842. 
" GrODE PaPPA !^ 

" So many thanks for your last letter. I see, from it, that 
you and Mamma are well. It gives me no slight comfort to know 
this ; and I should be even better satisfied, if I were also to learn 
that you prosper in your country home. 

" As yet, my dear Pappa, I have not grown particularly stout ; 
but, what I shall be, when I grow old, I cannot tell. However, 
I trust the Lord will save me from being obliged to sing on the 
stage, until my life's end ; and then, I shall rest tranquil. 

" Apropos of the Opera ! I wonder when I shall next be 
allowed to show myself ' on the boards,' as the term is. I clearly 
see — yes, I do see, Pappa— that I am born to stand on them. 
God grant that I may always stand ' on firm feet,' as Gelhaar said.* 
In one respect, Pappa knows that I do. In the other, I am in 

* Herr Gelliaar was a member of the Royal Orchestra at Stocliholm. 

G 2 

84 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. hi. 

God's hands. Think only, if, when I come home, I find no engage- 
ment ! 

" Yes, yes. ' Comes time, comes connseh' Perhaps I may have 
to sit on the Djurgards Common, with a Uttle money-box in front 
of me, to gather in small contributions, and sing while the day 
lasts — for, says the proverb, ' There is no day so long that it has 
not its evening ' — and, after that, I go to my Father's bosom, to 
awake in a better land. And this is surely the highest aim. It 
does not matter how one gets there, so that one only does get 
there, somehow, and, ' he that humbleth himself shall be exalted,' 
says the Scripture. — But, be this as it may ! 

" I was obliged to act as I did ; otherwise, the whole thing 
would have remained at a standstill with me. Perhaps I have 
not yet been quite forgotten — though I have some doubt about 
it : and, in that case, and if I have also made some progress, 
people may perhaps find pleasure in listening to me, when I come 
back again. I wish for nothing better than this. 

" AdieUf lille Fader. Write, if occasion offers, to your 

" Affectionate Daughter." 

A letter addressed, on the same day, to Madame Lindblad, 
announces still greater indecision with regard to the future : — 

"Paris, April 10, 1842. 
" I am really anxious to see how a life, begun like mine, will 
end. Oh ! what emptiness beyond description there is around 
me ! An unwonted amount of courage is necessary, for pro- 
longing my stay here for another year. But I need this, for 
several reasons. This journey has altogether changed me. The 
foundation of the building was tolerably safe, and needed no 
pulling down. But, the superstructure ! — this has crumbled 
away, through not having been better put together." 

The spirit which pervades these letters is unmistakable ; and 
clearly shows Mdlle. Lind's own feeling, with regard to the 
critical question, on the settlement of which her artistic destiny 
seemed now mainly to depend. 

But, she was not, and could not possibly be, the only, or even 
the best judge, of what was best for her. From the very nature 
of the case, she was placed very much at the mercy of others, 
who, moved by feelings of friendship, or self-interest, as the case 
might be, took an active part in the discussion ; and it was 
mainly through their intervention that the question was solved 
with the results which we propose to describe in our next chapter. 

( 85 ) 



Ox the 24th of May, 1842, while Mdlle. Lind was still tortured 
by doubts as to the best course to follow, in this difficult crisis, 
the Directors of the Royal Theatre at Stockholm sent her the 
offer of a definite and official engagement — or rather re-engage- 
ment — at the Opera-House in which her early triumphs had been 
achieved. It must be confessed, that the terms proposed by the 
DireMion were more in accordance with her former status at the 
Royal Theatre, than with that which was the just due of the 
great artist she had now become. The engagement was to last 
either one, or two years ; from the 1st of July, 1842, to the same 
date, in 1843, or 1844 — the longest period for which an engage- 
ment was legally possible. The salary was fixed at 1800 RiJcsdaler 
Banco, loer annum — equal to about £150, in English money ; with 
the privilege of an extra " benefit " ; and " extra service-money, 
according to the regulations of the Royal Theatre," for each 
appearance ; the necessary " silk costumes and bridal gowns " 
being provided at the expense of the management. In return 
for these emoluments, Mdlle. Lind was engaged to submit, in all 
things, to the regulations laid down for the direction of the Royal 
Theatre, in the year 1839 ; but she was permitted to extend her 
stay abroad, until September, 1842, without diminution of salary, 
as a compensation for the expenses connected with her home 

To this not very tempting offer, she replied, as follows : — 

"Paris, June 6, 1842. 
" I have had the honour to receive the Royal Direction's 
flattering offer of an engagement, for one or two years, from the 
1st of July, 1842, at the Royal Theatre of Stockholm, and hasten 
to submit my humble answer. 

8G JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. iv. 

" Although the period which I intended to devote to my studies 
abroad does not terminate until next year, and, therefore, an 
earlier return home will either interrupt those studies, or entail 
redoubled efforts for the accomplishment of the course on which 
J have entered, I feel not disinclined to accept the offer of the 
Eoyal Direction, for two years ; but, well remembering the rather 
too heavy service to which I had to submit in former times, at 
the Eoyal Theatre, and from the evil consequences of which 
I am still suffering, I am compelled to attach the following 
conditions to my engagement, viz.: — 

" (i.) That while enjoying the salary, benefices, and other 
advantages proposed by the Eoyal Direction, I shall not be obliged 
to appear in more than fifty representations during the season. 

" (ii.) That an extra fee of GG Rdr.^ 32 sTc., Banco* may be 
granted to me for each representation over and above the said 
fifty, during the season. 

" (iii.) That the representations be so arranged, as not to 
compel my appearance more than twice during the week. 

" (iv.) That leave of absence be granted to me, from the 15th 
of June, to the 1st of October, in each year. 

" I trust that the Eoyal Direction will appreciate the fairness 
of the above-named conditions, and will consider them as 
pardonable forethought with regard to my health and future, 
which are particularly uncertain, and difficult to ensure, by a 
dramatic artist, in Sweden." 

On the same day, she thus confided her difficulties to Madame 
Lindblad : — • 

" Paris, June 6, 1842. 

" I have been offered an engagement at the theatre in Stock- 
holm, and this has somewhat altered things. There is much to 
be said for, but much also against it. It seems to me that my 
demands are not exaggerated, w-hen I propose to appear fifty 
times during the season, for 1800 Rdr. Banco in the form of 
salary, w'ith extra money, etc. ; while, for other evenings, beyond 
that number, they will have to give me, each time, ^^ Rdr., 32 slr.^ 
Banco — the same as to Belletti. I shall not do it for less ; so, if 
they do not agree to this — well and good ! 

*' So, it may happen that I come home in the autumn. What 
do you say to that ? I rather long for home ; and this offer, on 
the part of the Direction, will furnish a good opportunity for 
closing the mouths of those who might feel inclined to say some- 
thing about my incapacity for another theatre." 

* Bather less than £5 10s. 

1842.] THE RETURN. 87 

Herr Lindblad, who was in Paris, at this time, wrote to his 
wife : — 

"Paris, June 1, 1842. 

" Jenny has had an offer, from the Direction of the Royal 
Opera, to come home ; and she seems incKned to accept it. If 
so, she will retm-n, in the autumn." 

This seems to imply that Herr Lindblad took no unfavourable 
view of the arrangement ; yet, when the engagement was finally 
concluded, he wrote to Madame Lindblad : — ■ 

" Paris, July 4, 1842. 
" Jenny has engaged herself at too small a salary. This she 
regrets, now, but it cannot be helped. Her love for Sweden, and 
the kind letter from the Director of the Opera, have dimmed her 

And again : — ■ 

*' Paris, Friday, July 15, 1842. 

" I conducted Meyerbeer to Jenny, when she sang for him airs 
from Roberto, Norma, and several of my songs. He thought 
much of her voice, and wishes to take her to the Grand Opera- 
House, in order to hear how it would sound on the stage there ; 
for he believes that its carrying power would grow in the large 

And again : — 

« Paris, July 18, 1842. 

" So it is, however, that, had Meyerbeer arrived here before 
Jenny accepted the engagement at Stockholm, she would probably 
not — unless tempted by home-sickness — have returned so soon 
to Sweden ; for Meyerbeer was not against engaging her for Paris 
or Berlin. Xot a soul has here done the least towards making 
her known. She has been living as in a convent. 

" Still, she is not sorry to return home ; for, the greatest stage 
reputations are here won only through sacrificing honour and 
reputation. While the world is resounding with their praise, every 
mlon is closed to them ; and this, even in easy-going Paris. Such 
homage as Jenny met with in Sweden, no foreign artist ever 
received. This, she feels ; and it is for this vivifying atmosphere 
that she is longing." 

As may well be supposed, Meyerbeer's influence was no unim- 
portant factor in the arrangements which concerned the future. 
He had come to Paris on business connected with the production 

88 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. iv. 

of Le Prophete ; had there heard of Mdlle. Lind — probably, from 
Herr Lindblad ; and — as we gather from that gentleman's letter 
of the 15th of July — had already heard her sing, in private. But 
he seems to have entertained doubts as to whether her voice was 
powerful enough to fill the salle of the Grand Opera ; and, in 
order to satisfy himself on this point, he wished to hear her sing 
on the stage of the theatre itself. Whether or not, Signor Garcia 
felt any doubts upon the subject, we do not know. On the 13th 
of June, Herr Lindblad had written : — 

" On Saturday last, I met Garcia, and spoke to him about 
Jenny. He has found out that she has much esprit, and feeling ; 
but considers her voice still somewhat fatiffuee.^^ 

But, whatever Signor Garcia may have felt, it is quite certain 
that Meyerbeer was determined to carry his point ; and, that 
he made the necessary arrangements with M. Leon Fillet, then 
the Director of the Grand Opera, for the gratification of his 
wish ; for, on the 22nd of July, he wrote (in German) to Herr 
Lindblad : — • 

" Honoured Sir, — 

" I was unable to answer your kind letter, yesterday, as 
I found it impossible to speak to the Director of the Opera. 
But I have since seen him, and have arranged that, to-morrow, 
Saturday, at two o'clock in the afternoon, precisely, a well-tuned 
pianoforte, and an accompanist, shall be in readiness, on the stage 
of the Opera, to accompany Mdlle. Lind in her songs. 

" I have told the Director, that Mdlle. Lind wishes to bring 
with her six or eight persons with whom she is acquainted ; and 
orders have been given to the porter to admit them. The 
entrance, however, will not be from the Rue Lepelletier, as in the 
evening ; but, in the Rue Grangebateliere, No. 3, through the 
great gateway, on the left hand of the court. 

" Begging you, honoured sir, to make my compliments to Mdlle. 
Lind, and in the hope of seeing you again to-morrow, at the 
Opera, at two o'clock, 

" Yours most sincerely, 

" Meyerbeer." 

Of the proceedings which took place at this probationary 
meeting, no detailed account has been preserved. M. Castil- 
Blaze tells us, that the pieces sung were, the three grand scenes 

1^42.] THE RETURX. 89 

from Ber Freischiitz, Rolert Je DiahJe, and Norma ; but, as we 

shall presently see, his account of the occurrence is so glaringly 

incorrect, in other respects, that it is not safe to accept any part 

of it. Herr Lindblad, however, has described his impressions ; 

briefly enough, it is true, but, in language which may be accepted 

as thoroughly trustworthy. His account of the effect produced is 

thus recorded : — • 

" Paris, July 25, 1842. 

" Xothing worth mentioning happened, in the course of last 
week, except that Jenny appeared at the Grand Opera, here ; but, 
without the lights, and with no other listeners than Meyerbeer, 
the Hiertas, Herr Blumm, Branting, the Director of the Opera, 
and myself. It was in order to hear how her voice would tell, 
in the immense saJle. Jenny was unusually nervous ; and, you 
know, she never does herself justice until she is in full action on 
the stage. But, notwithstanding this, she sang well ; though it 
seemed pale in comparison with what she can do. Meyerbeer said 
the prettiest things : ' Uae voix chaste et pure, pleine cle grace et cle 
rirginaJite,' etc., etc. Yesterday, I breakfasted with him ; and, in 
the presence of Berlioz, and some other Frenchmen, he spoke of her 
with an enthusiasm so great, that I almost felt inclined to question 
its sincerity — for, Jenny had not sung nearly so well as she is 
capable of doing. 

" In the meantime, she is coming home, for which she longs 
with her whole heart. May the Swedes receive her well, now, 
and not soon get tired of her ! Otherwise, we shall take her to 
Berhn, and get her an engagement there, in accordance with 
Meyerbeer's wish. He maintains that she ought to appear 

This proves, clearly enough, that after hearing the effect of 
Mdlle. Lind's voice, in the saUe of the Grand Opera, Meyerbeer 
was of opinion that Berlin would offer a better field for the 
exercise of her talents than Paris ; and subsequent events proved 
that his judgment was perfectly correct. Neither the style, nor 
the tastes of the singer, would have found a congenial home on 
the stage of the Grand Opera. There was, in all probability, no 
difference of opinion between any of the parties concerned, on 
this point ; and, for the moment, this probationary performance 
passed off, without any practical result. But, in after years, the 
circumstance was brought before the public, in a distorted form 
which entirely changed its import, by giving a glaringly false 
account of the circumstances under which the trial took place. 

^0 JENNY LIND. [bk. ii. ch. iv. 

It was said, that " Mdlle. Lind had vowed a profound artistic 
dislike to France, in remembrance of the check which she had 
there experienced, and for which she retained a lively resentment ; " 
that " she constantly refused the engagements offered to her from 
Paris, because she had been heard there, without success, at the 
beginning of her career, by the Direction of the Opera ; " that 
she had even " made a deUit at this theatre ; " that " this deUit 
had not been a happy one ; " and that it was this " that provoked 
her resentment." 

These false reports were publicly contradicted in November, 
1887, by M. Arthur Pougin, who, in an article communicated to 
'' Le Mbiestrel^ related the circumstances, precisely as they ar3 
here recorded. Moreover, the letters of Meyerbeer and Lindblad 
prove the statements complained of to have been without a 
shadow of foundation. Mademoiselle Lind was not in Paris in 
1840. Never having sung before a Parisian audience, she could 
have had no possible cause for resentment against it ; and, at no 
period of her life did she ever entertain so unworthy a feeling. 
Indeed, when the trial performance took place, in 181:2, she was 
not open to an engagement, either in Paris, or elsewhere ; for 
the contract with the " Direction " of the Eoyal Theatre at 
Stockholm had already been signed and ratified. The die was 

*• Paris, July 25, 1842. 

" Jenny is now returning home," wrote Herr Lindblad, " and 
longing for it, with her whole heart. She wiU accompany the 
Hiertas. There is a question of returning by way of England, 
and staying there until the 11th of August, when the steamer 
leaves for Stockholm. If this is possible, we might all be back by 
the l-lth of August, or the 15th, at the latest." 

And it was possible. The journey to Paris, with its hopes and 
fears, its long hours of diligent study, its cruel alternations of 
confidence and despondency, dominated by a firm and righteous 
determination to achieve success in spite of every obstacle, at the 
cost of every sacrifice of personal ease and comfort that the 
nature of the case might demand — the eventful journey to Paris, 
so carefully planned, and so bravely brought to its conclusion, had 
accomplished all, and more, far more than ever was expected 
from it. And the second phase of the great Art-life was at 
an end. 

( 91 ) 




" Land of mj birth ! Oh, that I could one day show how dear 
thou art to me ! " That had been the deep desire of Jenny 
Lind, as she toiled in Paris. And, indeed, it had seemed as if the 
Fates were set on fulfilling her desire. She was, after all, to 
return to her familiar boards — to put herself under the old yoke. 
That great Italian Opera, with its famous heroines of song, was to 
remain a vision of what was doing in the big world outside. She 
was not to enter, as yet, on that magnificent scene. Enough for 
her to carry out her bond with that theatre which had been her 
nursery and her home, in her beloved Stockholm, at the humble 
salary of 1800 r. d. banco, i.e. £150 a year. Yery happily, so far 
as we can see, she set to work ; though inwardly conscious of the 
immense increase of knowledge and power which had become hers 
since she had begun again with Garcia " at the beginning of the 
beginning," and had learnt what " Art " meant. She arrived in 
August, 1842, and rented rooms for herself and Annette, her 
maid, on the upper floor of the same Bonde Palace, where the 
Lindblads still lived. With them she had the delight of feeling 
at home, and all the comfort of domestic affection ; but, in the 
following year, she found it well to establish herself in an 
independent position, and she took rooms in another house, 
whither she invited her old friend, Louise Johansson, to come, 
and be her companion. 

On October 10th she opened, at the theatre, with a performance 

02 JENNY LIND. [bk. iii. cii. i. 

of Norma — the very opera in which she had closed her appearances 
on June 19th, 1841. It must have been a direct challenge to the 
critical world of Stockholm, to recognise the change that had in- 
tervened between the two performances. What that change was, we 
learn from an estimate which has been kindly supplied us by a 
most competent and judicious critic, himself a musician, who sang 
with her often, both before and after her visit to Paris. We give 
his own words : — 

"When, during the years 1838, 1839, and 1840, Jenny Lind 
enraptured her audience, at Stockholm, by her interpretation of 
the parts of ' Agathe,' ' Pamina,' ' Alice,' ' Norma,' or * Lucia,' she 
succeeded in doing so solely through her innate capacity for 
investing her performances, both musically and dramatically, with 
truthfulness, warmth, and poetry. 

" The voice, and its technical development, were not, however, 
in sufficiently harmonious relation with her intentions. 

" In proof of this, it was noticed that the Artist was not always 
uble to control sustained notes in the upper register — such, for 
instance, as the A flat, above the stave, in Agathe's cavatina, 

* Und oh die Wolke ' — without perceptible difficulty ; and, that 
she frequently found it necessary to simplify the fioritura and 
radenze, which abound in florid parts like those of ' Norma ' and 

* Lucia.' 

" Nay ! — there were not wanting some, who, though they had 
heard her in parts no more trying than that of Emilia, in Weigl's 
Swiss Family — a i-ole, which, in many respects, she rendered 
delightfully — went so far as to doubt the possibility of training 
the veiled and weak-toned voice in a wider sense. 

" Yet, in spite of this, Jenny Lind, when resuming her sphere 
of action at the Stockholm Theatre, proved to have not only 
acquired a soprano voice of great sonority and compass, capable 
of adapting itself with ease to every shade of expression, but to 
have gained, also, a technical command over it, great enough to be 
regarded as unique in the history of the musical world. Her 
messa di voce * stood alone — unrivalled by any other singer. 

" In like manner, in her shake, her scales, her legato and staccato 
passages, she evoked astonishment and admiration no less from 
competent judges than from the general public : and the more 
so since it was evident that, in the exercise of her wise dis- 
crimination, the songstress made use of these ornaments, only 

* A technical term, applied to the art of swelling or diminishing the tone 
of the voice, by imperceptible gradation from the softest attainable piano, to 
the full volume of its utmost power, and vice versa. 

1842-44.] HOME : AND AFTEll ? 93 

in so far as they were iu perfect harmony with the inner meaning 
of the music. 

" The incredibly rapid development of Jenny Lind's voice and 
technUiue caused many people to question the value of the instruc- 
tion she had originally received. Such doubts must, however, be 
dismissed as unjustifiable. The true reason why Jenny Lind's 
singing, before she went abroad, could not be said to flow in 
the track which leads to perfection, is undoubtedly to be found 
in the fact that she was a so-called Thpciterelev — a pupil educated 
at the expense of the Directors of the Theatre itself — and, as 
such, was unable to escape from the necessity of appearing in 
public before her preparatory education was completed — a pro- 
ceeding no less disastrous to the pupil than contrary to the good 
sense of the teacher." 

Such, then, was the transformation that had come over her 
rendering of Korma, No wonder that Stockholm was wild with 

She sang in seven performances of Norma, and in six of Lucia^ 
besides giving some scenes from Rossini's Semiramide, and in 
January, 1843, repeated her favourite " Alice " three or four 

She took up several new characters — " Amazili," in Spontini's 
Ferdinand Cortez, the second act of which was given eight times 
during the spring ; " Valentine," in the Huguenots ; •' Minette,"" 
in La Gazza Ladra ; "La Contessa," in Mozart's Nozze di Figaro ; 
above all, " Amina," in the Sonnambula — one of her representations 
which was to become so famous in after years, and which she 
sang for the first time on March 1st, 1843. Altogether, before 
the nine months of the year's engagement were out, she had made, 
between October 10th, 1842, and June 21st, 1843, one hundred 
and six appearances in thirteen different parts. 

But, besides her normal work, those nine months were chiefly 
memorable for two main incidents, one, personal and domestic ; 
the other, national and dramatic. 

The personal event formed the last crisis in her home-relations. 
These relations were still strained ; for we must remember that 
she has never gone back on that first decision to leave her 
parents' home, which landed her in the Lindblads' household. 
She is still living apart from them ; and this is all the more 
marked, now that she is independent of the Lindblads, and 
living in her own hired rooms, with the sole companionship of the 

94 JENNY LIND. [bk. iii. ch. i. 

faithful Louise. A woman, by Swedish law, at that time, was 
bound to be under guardianship until she married. Yet it must 
have been as difficult as ever for her to remain under the guardian- 
ship of parents, who cared, indeed, for her, and valued her highly, 
but who, yet, could not possibly enter into her motives and aims, 
which were beyond the range both of the easy-going conscience of 
her father, and of the embittered temperament of her mother. 
We have only to recall her deep and peculiar sense of the obliga- 
tion she was under, to devote her art and its rewards to the 
service of God and man, to see how tough a difficulty this desire 
would prove to Herr Lind, who had never taken life very seriously, 
and to Fru Lind, who had fought her own way along, with sturdy 
resolution, under the ugly burden of poverty, and who had seen no 
good cause to be over-tender towards a world which had dealt 
hardly enough with her. 

In view, then, of this radical difficulty, Jenny Lind took a step, 
which, with characteristic generosity, put an end to the long and 
tangled story. Out of her earnings, scanty though they were, she 
managed to secure a little home in the country, in which she estab- 
lished her father and mother. And, then, she won their consent 
to transfer a guardianship, which they could not well exercise at a 
distance, to an official guardian, duly appointed by law, to whom 
they would hand over all parental responsibilities. This they did ; 
and the transference was a marked moment in her life. Not 
only did she thereby put a total end to all the domestic troubles 
which had so darkened her young days ; not only did she set free 
her natural affection for her mother, by releasing it from all the 
aggravation of jarring wills ; but also she did something towards 
securing for herself what she, always, most sorely needed — needed, 
indeed, with all the innermost necessities of her being — a strong 
and steady personal influence at the back of her life, to calm her 
agitations, to control her uncertainties, to abide constant through- 
out her reactions, to correct her self-mistrust, to dissipate her 
suspicions, to fix her emotions, to anchor her conscience. She 
had all the fervour and the lapses, the starts and the recoils, of a 
dramatic genius ; and, firm and high as was her moral ideal, its 
very force brought it into confused collision with the bewilderment 
of circumstances, and it was as liable to perplex and distress her, 
as to cheer and impel. Some one ought to be near at hand from 
whom she could receive the profound assurance that "all was 

3842-44.] HOME : AND AFTER ? 95 

well" — that her belief in goodness had not played her false. 
This is what her home had sadly omitted to give her : and for 
this loss nothing could now compensate. But it was, at least, a 
profound relief, under such a strain, to have obtained a guardian 
whose presence abode with her, from then to his death in 1880, 
as a permanent pledge of all that was wise, and kindly, and ex- 
cellent, and of good report. Herr Henric M. Munthe, Judge of 
the Court of Second Instance, the guardian chosen, was a man of 
high character and distinguished position ; she could confide in 
his judgment with absolute confidence, while she could also rely 
on his appreciation of her art, as he was himself a cultivated 
musician, and took his part in the best amateur quartette in 
Stockholm. His portrait suggests a benignant and benevolent 
" Thackeray " — a face full of fatherly interest and mild good 
humour, yet with the discreet wisdom of one who knows the Law. 
And, indeed, with the shrewdness of a councillor, he combined 
true sympathy with all that was most deeply implanted in her 
heart. She wrote to him constantly and freely ; and she found 
in him one who could understand her, even in those respects in 
which a legal trustee is most apt to fail. For it was he who 
directed and managed for her, so long as his guardianship lasted, 
those abundant charities which she showered upon her native 
Stockholm. About these she could pour out her mind to him, 
sure of intimate comprehension. And his open recognition of 
her ideas in all this is evidenced by the fact that he stored up her 
letters to him, and left them at his death inscribed with this 
description — " The mirror of a noble soul " ; though, according 
to her own words to his son, these letters were almost entirely 
occupied with the distribution of her charitable gifts. She 
declares this, in a letter written, in June, 1880, to Carl H. 
Munthe, the son of the Judge, after she had learned from him of 
the existence of these letters, on the father's death in April, 1880. 
Her letter throws so much light on her character that the main 
portion of it is printed here. 

This letter to Carl Munthe has an interest, also, that belongs to 
the present memoir, for it will be noticed that she here mentions 
her intention of writing an autobiography ; and, above all, of 
recording her artistic experience. Though this purpose was 
utterly abandoned (or, rather, was never put in action), yet her 
words lend a sanction to the effort made in this volume to give 

96 JENNY LIND. [bk. ui. ch. i. 

some record of her career as an artist. In her last years, slie was 
prone to justify her abandonment of the autobiography by indig- 
nant remonstrances at the hopeless faihu-e of the public to 
understand Carlyle's ' Reminiscences.' Her experience of the 
cruel stupidity with which a mighty character like his could be 
maltreated and misinterpreted, made her put the thought utterly 
away. " If they could so treat him, who was so great, what 
respect would they pay me ? " she said. " No ! let the waves of 
oblivion pass over my poor little life ! " 

But we must go back to our letter : here it is : — 

Extract of a Letter from Fru Jenny Lind-Goldschmidt to 
Hofrdttsrddet Carl Munthe. 

" 1 Moreton Gardens, June 15th, 1880. 

" The letters from me, left in your charge, my dear brothers 
and my sister Emma^-can contain only dispositions for distribution 
of pensions and purses to different people. What good would 
there be in exhibiting these letters to the curiosity of the public 
long after that the writer thereof is decayed and forgotten ? To 
me, the most acceptable course would be the burning of those 
letters after you all are gone. There is nothing I have shunned 
more, during my life, than praise for the assistance I have been 
fortunate enough, through the grace of God, to render to my 
fellow-men as far as lay in me, and it can never be a merit to give 
of that which has been given to us. These are my views — and, 
if I am not much mistaken about you, brother Carl, you will say 
I am right. 

" Moreover, I intend to write an autobiography. My life — 
especially as an artist — has furnished material for a biography in 
such abundance, that I almost look upon it as a duty to produce 
something of the kind, before leaving a world where I had been 
called upon to take so active a part. That in such a biography, 
written by myself, my beloved guardian should take his well- 
deserved place, is only natural ; that the help he gave me with 
the distribution of my little bounties in my fatherland, was of the 
greatest importance for those who received them, is a fact nobody 
can dispute, and, consequently, his part in this page of my life 
must be clear and unmistakable. Alas ! in my letters to him, he 
does not by any means occupy the place to which he is entitled^ 
consequently they would be only interpreted to my advantage ; 
and still, had he remonstrated against my urgent commissions — 
which he was much too noble and much too discreet ever to do — 
I should most probably have listened to his objections." 

1842-44.J HOME: AND AFTEii? 97 

Such was the kind and fatherly guardianship which slie won 
for herself, under a legal sanction obtained from His Majesty's 
Lower Town Court on the 30th of January, 1843, under the 
chairmanship of the Sous-Prefet, Chamberlain, and Knight of the 
Order of the Royal Xorth Star, M. Kuylenstjierna, when the fol- 
lowing request was presented : — • 

" Having decided to leave Stockholm for good, and consequently 
being unable to bestow due attention to the guardianship of my 
dear daughter, the Court-singer, Jenny Lind, I hereby beg that 
I may be relieved from this duty, and that Herr H. M. Munthe, 
Judge of the High Court, may be aj^pointed in my place to the 

This is signed by X. J. Lind ; and, after that Herr Munthe 
has formally signified his consent, the Royal Court agi-ees to the 
request, and Judge H. M. Munthe "is herewith appointed 
guardian of the Coiu't-singer, Jenny Lind, in accordance with 
regulations provided by the law." 

So happily closes a long and chequered chapter of domestic 
history. The parents contentedly enjoy the fruits of their 
daughter's generosity. Their discomforts and their anxieties are 
over. They seem to have been very fond of one another ; and 
henceforward the days began of quiet and kindly peace in which 
the natural affections found free way. 

The second great event of that spring was the Xational Jubilee, 
to celebrate the twenty-fifth year of the reign of King Carl Johan. 
The Royal Family of the Bernadottes, in spite of their abrupt 
introduction into the country, have succeeded in attracting about 
them the national associations ; and the Jubilee was to be cele- 
brated by appeals to everything that was native, and popular, and 
Swedish. The Royal Theatre set itself to the task by the pro- 
duction of a " Diveitissement National," — a medley of national 
scenes, with words and dances by Bottiger, Tegner's son-in-law, 
and himseK a poet ; and with music by Berwald, the conductor 
at the Theatre Royal. In this, Jenny Lind sang, in the character 
of a peasant girl from Wermland. This piece ran for twenty- 
seven nights, all through February, and March, into April ; and 
it was followed, in May, by another Piece cV Occasion, of the same 
type, with national melodies and dances, called A May Day in 
Wdrend — full of Swedish customs, and melodies, and dresses ; in 


98 JENNY LIND. bk. hi. ch. i. 

which she sang the part of "Martha," the heroine, riding in, at 
one part, on horseback on to the stage, and singing as she rode. 
This ran for fifteen nights before June was over. She was capi- 
tally supported by the barytone, Belletti, in the character of an 
itinerant Itahan. We can imagine how her Swedish blood would 
tingle, as she threw herself, with her whole heart, into the delight 
of rendering the native peasant life which was so dear to her, and 
which she so instinctively interpreted. She would pour her soul 
out in melodies which touched the very fibres of her being, as 
they spoke to her of the sounds and sights which make Sweden 
what it is to Swedish hearts. She must have felt that the oppor- 
tunity was indeed come to put out all the new powers, which she 
had gained abroad, to prove to her own people how dear they 
were to her. 

We find that, from this time on, the Court began to take delight 
in showing her both favour and friendship ; and especially kind 
to her was the Queen, Desideria, wife of Bernadotte. We are 
allowed to use the interesting notes from the diary of a lady-in- 
waiting on Queen Desideria, which belong to this and the following 
years. This lady, Froken Marie von Stedingk, had, in quite early 
days, predicted a great future for Jenny Lind, when she heard of 
her wonderful dramatic gifts, as a child of eleven or twelve. And, 
now, after the return from Paris, it was " her greatest treat " to 
witness the fulfilment of her prophecy, and to hear " Our night- 
ingale, the charming Jenny Lind," both in the Divertissement 
National, and in her great parts, " Norma,''' " La So7i7iamMda" 
etc. She had, also, " often the advantage of hearing her, through 
the winter, in private houses, where one and all treated her with 
distinction. Her behaviour and her reputation are faultless ; her 
manners pleasant and modest. Without being pretty, she has an 
expression of purity and genius, which, combined with her youth 
and her charming figure, is exceedingly prepossessing." We shall 
hear more of this diary in the years 1814 and 1845. 

So the first year of the home engagement ended — prosperous, 
happy, secure. But, after all, was it to be possible that this great 
gift of hers should be left to be the private possession and prize 
of her Swedish home ? Could it be so hid ? Was no rumour to 
creep about of this strange singing 'mid the northern seas ? Was 
the " Nightingale " caught, and caged for ever ? 

It could not be ; and we have, now, to follow her first flights 

1842-41.] HOME: AND AFTER? 99 

outside the home-limits, and to watch her, as she discovers that 
her voice has that in it vrhich can overleap all the barriers set up 
between people and people, and can speak to the souls of those 
whose tongue is unknown to her, and Avhose eyes have never seen 
the woods and waters of Sweden. There was a little experiment 
first, in Finland, in the summer of 1843, which met with over- 
whelming response. A graceful and pathetic record of the visit 
is given us in the verses of the aged poet of Finland, Topelius, 
written for a festival in 188(8, on the news of Jenny Lind's death. 
The old poet is carried back to recall the days when he first heard 
her sing so long ago ; and we venture to give, in a free translation, 
a few of the opening verses, which describe, with delicate accuracy, 
the effect she then made on all — the effect of one, who, using all 
the subtlest resources given her by skill and training, still spoke 
straight home, from soul to soul, with the natural direct ease with 
which a bird sings its heart out, in sheer simplicity and joy : — 

" I saw thee once, so young and fair, 
In thy sweet spring-tide, long ago; 
A royrtle wreath was in thy hair, 
And, at thy breast, a rose did blow. 

" Poor was thy purse, yet gold thy gift ; 
All music's golden boons were thine ; 
And yet, through all the wealth of Art, , 

It was thy soul which sang to mine ! 

"Yea! sang, as no one else has sung, 
So subtly skilled, so simply good! 
So brilliant ! yet as pure, and true 
As birds that warble in the wood ! '" 

So it went well in Finland. 

But yet another step outward was to be made that summer — a 
step into a country, near enough to be familiar, yet remote enough 
to be almost foreign. Once before, she had just looked in at 
Copenhagen, in the middle of her provincial tour, in 1840 ; and, 
now, she visited it again. It was in connection, again, with a 
provincial tour which she made ; and of which we have some 
happy records in the life of the musician, Jakob Axel Josephson. 

This name is so closely linked with these years of Jenny Lind's 
life, that we must pause upon it before going on with our story. 
Josephson was a Swedish composer — born in 1818, and died in 
1880 — whose songs have become widely famous in Sweden. 

H 2 

100 JENNY LIND. [bk. hi. ch. i. 

The event of his life was a tour through Germany and Italy, 
for the study of Art ; it was this which brought him under 
the full sway of classical culture in music ; and it was with 
this tour, as we shall see, that Jenny Lind was so personally 
and deeply concerned. He returned from it in 1847, and was 
appointed Musical Director of Upsala University in 1849. He 
devoted himself with indefatigable perseverance to producing 
the great works of the great masters, especially the oratorios of 
Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn. Tlirough these efforts, as well 
as through his lectures on the ' History of Music,' given at Upsala, 
he has done much to kindle and to purify, by the power of music, 
the minds of the present generation in Sweden. 

Now, in 184f), Josephson was just at the critical point in his 
musical education ; he was longing to get abroad ; he had no 
sufficient funds. Here was a situation which Jenny Lind would 
thoroughly understand ; for it had been her own. We shall soon 
see how she dealt with it. They met, in the August of this year, 
at this town, Linkoping, whither Josephson had gone, on the 
occasion of an annual concert, to be given under the direction of 
Concert-Master Eandel, in aid of the fund for the widows and 
orphans. It was a most pleasant surprise, as he tells us in his 
Diary,* to meet with a number of old acquaintances and friends, 
and among others Jenny Lind and Giinther, who had come to give 
a concert of their own, and joined in this preliminary entertain- 
ment. Crowds were present from all parts of the country, partly 
owing to the presence of some of the royalties ; and the heat and 
the crush in the church, where the concert was given, were 
intolerable, and he did not enjoy it so much as he expected — 
*' even Jenny Lind was less successful than usual." This was on 
the 18th August ; but, at her own concert, in the evening of the 
following day, she was in excellent voice, and he was enraptured ;■ 
" she sang in a manner unsurpassed. What brilliancy of delivery, 
side by side with that grandeur which is so characteristic of her ! 
What energy and pathos, even in the very ftoriture! What 
classical finish in her cadenzas ! " In the evening she was 
serenaded. And on the following day, at the concert given by her 
and Herr Giinther, he heard her sing, in costume, a scena from 
the Freischutz. " She is incomparable ! " is his verdict. " The 
beautiful gentle calm during the first part of the scene ; her fine 

* • Gedenkblatter an Jakob Axel Josephson,' von N. P. Odman, 1886. 

1S42-44.J HOME: AND AFTER? 101 

attitudes, full of feeling, when listening for the horns ; her rapture 
and glowing prayer at the supposed vietorj of her beloved — all 
this is so glorious, so true, so enchanting, that in reality, nothing 
can be said, while the full heart feels all the more from the lack of 
words." She sang one of Josephson's own songs, at this concert, 
" Believe not in Joy ! " After this musical feast at Linkoping, 
the friends separated. Josephson and Giinther went on a tour 
of their own, giving musical soirees, while Jenny Lind took the 
opportunity of a run across to Copenhagen. Before the three 
meet again, we must see what happened to her there. She had 
intended only to make a visit ; but there was in Copenhagen, an 
eager and enthusiastic friend who was not to be denied. This 
was Mr. A. A. Bournonville, of whom we have already spoken as 
being delighted with Jenny Lind's operatic singing as far back as 
1839, when he was indignant at the pittance at which she was 
rendering such magnificent service to the Royal Theatre. He was 
eminent, both at Copenhagen and at Stockholm, as a composer, 
and master of ballets ; he was made knight of the Danebrog in 
Denmark, and of the Wasa in Sweden ; he was greatly respected 
and beloved, and it was at his house that Jenny Lind usually 
stayed, on her visits to Copenhagen. He urgently pleaded that 
she should give them " her incomparable Alice " in Roherto ; and 
suggested that she should sing her part in Swedish, while the 
rest sang in Danish, as the languages were so nearly akin. 

" All the theatre showed the greatest good-will," he writes in 
his memoir of his theatrical life ; " but the one olDstacle was the 
fear of Jenny Lind herself ; she dreaded a foreign stage. And 
when she saw Fru Heiberg act in the Son of the Desert she felt 
such enthusiasm for her, and, at the same time, such depression 
for herself, that she begged me, with tears of anguish, to spare her 
the pain of exhibiting her own insignificant person and talent, on 
a stage which had, at its disposal, the genius and the beauty of 
Fru Heiberg. In addition to this, my counter-arguments excited 
her to such a degree that she began to reproach me for having 
laid a trap for her. This both frightened and wounded me ; and 
I promised to cancel all. But now the ' woman ' came to the 
front ; for as I began to doubt, she waxed firm." 

An admirable episode, as amusing as it is natural ! So long as it 
is only her own doubt, it is only due to nervousness, hov/ever real 
its anguish ; but if another doubt her powers, it constitutes an 

102 JENNY LIND. [bk. hi. ch. i. 

attack, a challenge ; and " the artist," as well as " the woman," is 
up in arms to repel it. Bournonville seems to have seen how to 
reap the advantage of this mode of argument with her ; he must 
have deepened his doubts to the point which secured complete 
conviction in her. For, certainly, he obtained her consent. She 
sang ; and the success was tremendous, was overpowering. 
" Jenny Lind gained in Denmark a second Fatherland," writes 
Bournonville. And, after deploring the slackness which failed to 
secure her services for the Danish Opera, he speaks, significantly 
enough, of the impression which the event made on her — of the 
discovery which she made for herself. " The ice was broken. 
Jenny Lind discovered that she could get her living out of Sweden ; 
and also she learned that the Artist, in reality, should not settle 
down on the native-soil, but, like the bird of passage, should go 
there only in search of rest." The words are those of the 
theatrical master, who has made the drama his world. They are 
singularly unlike what she would have used, at any time. But 
they may describe, in his language, an effect which did take place 
within her secret self. She must have experienced a sense that the 
doors were being flung open, and that she might pass out through 
them, if she would. There was a world, she now knew for certain, 
out and away beyond the range of home, where she would find 
that her powers would tell, her gifts be welcomed, her genius be 
met with the warmth of sympathy. This must have, indeed, been 
something like a revelation, to one who, as we have just seen in 
the scene with Bournonville, was terribly susceptible to self-mis- 
trust. There can be no doubt that Copenhagen marked an 
eventful hour in her destiny. 

She only sang twice in the theatre, on September 10th and 
13th : and in one concert, in the large hall of the Hotel 
d'Angleterre, on September 16th. The opera, on each occasion, 
was Rolerto. The following words from a History of Danish 
Dramatic Art, by Th. Overskou, form an admirable comment : — 

" It was said about Jenny Lind, that in her everything is com- 
bined to make the perfect dramatic singer ; a clear, full, sonorous 
voice of large compass ; an easy and charming method of singing, 
which she never overburdens with inappropriate ornament ; a 
style, in the highest degree expressive and enchanting : and an 
extraordinary dramatic talent. Added to this, there lies diffused 
throughout the whole personality of this admirable artist, a 

1842-41.] HOME : AND AFTEE ? 103 

peculiar charm, a uaturalism rare on the stage, which makes an 
immediate appeal to the goodwill of the audience. And, after all, 
this eulogy, however detailed and true, can only give but an im- 
perfect account of the gifts by which, without dazzling through 
beauty, she fascinates all by her appearance, her singing, and her 
speech ; for her power derives its origin and its life from a loveli- 
ness altogether characteristic and individual, such as it is impos- 
sible to describe, and which banishes all disturbing influences, and 
collects all her rare and precious advantages, so as to create an 
irresistible impression of grace and purity of soul." 

Nor was it only the possibility of a wider public, which opened 
upon her at Copenhagen. She also found that here, as at Stock- 
holm, she won, in a peculiar manner, the admiration and the 
friendship of eminent men, such as the artists Jensen and Melbye, 
the poet (Ehlenschliiger, and, above all, of Hans Andersen, who 
was absolutely fascinated, and who for a long time after, paid her 
a devotion, which had in it all that delightful mingling of sim- 
plicity and childishness, which w^as so characteristic of him. In 
his ' Story of my Life,' he tells in beautiful words how he was 
called in by Bournonville, to take part in the work of persuading 
her to sing : — 

"Except in Sweden," she said, "I have never appeared in 
public. In my own country all are so kind and gentle towards 
me ; and if I were to appear in Copenhagen, and be hissed ! I 
cannot risk it ! " "When she appeared in Alice,''' he writes, "it 
was like a new revelation in the domain of Art. The fresh young 
voice went direct to the hearts of all. Here was truth and 
nature. Everything had clearness and meaning. In her concerts, 
Jenny Lind sang her Swedish songs. There was a peculiar, and 
seductive charm about them : all recollection of the concert-room 
vanished : the popular melodies exerted their spell, sung as they 
were by a pure voice with the immortal accent of genius. All 
Copenhagen was in raptures. Jenny Lind was the first artist to 
w^hom the students offered a serenade : the torches flashed round 
the hospitable villa, where the song was sung. ' She expressed her 
thanks by a few more of the Swedish songs, and I then saw her 
hurry into the darkest corner, and weep out her emotion. ' Yes, 
yes,' she said, ' I will exert myself ; I will strive ; I shall 
be more efficient than I am now, when I come to Copenhagen 
again ! ' " 

This is the remarkable note of her character — so natural, yet so 

1C4 JENNY LIND. [bk. iii. ch. i. 

rare — that every triumph, instead of satisfying her with her skill, 
spurs her to further efforts to be more wortliy of its joy. Hans 
Andersen goes on : — 

" On the stage, she was the great artist, towering above all 
around her ; at home, in her chamber, she was a gentle young 
girl, with the simple touch and piety of a child. . . . The spec- 
tator laughs and weeps, as she acts : the sight does him good : he 
feels a better man for it : he feels that there is something divine 
in Art. One feels, at her appearance on the stage, that the holy 
draught is poured from a pure vessel." 

"VYe will close this visit to Copenhagen with the graceful and 
touching words in which Mr. Bournonville has clothed an incident 
which seemed to him to embody the secret of Jenny Lind's sig- 
nificance at that time. In translating the words from their con- 
genial French, we must, we fear, strip them of half their charm : 
but here they are : — 

" Again and again have the delights of Xature, the glory of 
Art, the enthusiasm for the true and the beautiful, inspired in me 
some attempts at verse. How, then, is it that, to-day, the sweet 
singing of Jenny Lind has left my lyre mute ? How is it that I 
fail to find even an echo within me which might pass on into the 
distance the sound of that music which laid open to my soul a 
world as yet unknown ? Alas ! To paint in words the tones of 
a voice steeped in all the uttermost tenderness of the human heart, 
is as vain as to seek shadows in the darkness ! ^loreover, the 
sound of my voice would be lost in the thunders of a people's 
praise. The little flower that alone I could offer to the artist, in 
the midst of her triumj^hs, would be crushed under the feet of the 
crowds that press round her. No ! Rather let me treasure up 
the memory of her gifts, and of her story within my home, and 
let me leave, as a legacy to those that come after, one trait of her 
life, which will serve to bring her honour in the day when the 
loud applause will have died away, and when the poets will be 
singing the praises of other, and newer names. 

" I had a friend who enjoyed all the privileges of happy com- 
fort, of public esteem, of cultivated taste, of the affection of his 
family, of the love of his fair, young wife. A cruel sickness 
brought him down to the very edge of the grave ; but by God's 
mercy, he was saved. He was lying, still weak and faint, in his 
bed, when the thrill of excitement which Jenny Lind had kindled 
in Copenhagen, reached even to his sick-room ; and bitter were 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER? 105 

the regrets of the young wife, at the sick man's loss of that which 
would have been to him such a delight. Jenny heard of her 
desire, and offered, at once, to sing to the invalid : and so, in the 
very heart of her triumphs, when the Court and the Town were 
anxiously craving to know whether they could yet keep her one 
day more, she found time to charm, with her heavenly voice, the 
hearts of the two young people. It was on a Sunday, the IGth of 
September, 184?>, at the hour when all the churches were lilled 
with the praises of God, that Jenny, without any strangers to 
observe her, without any public notice, did this act of charity ; 
and the tears of gratitude which flowed from the eyes of Mozart 
and Mathilde Waage Petersen were the waters in which they 
christened her with the name of ' Angel.' The emotion and the 
pleasure of the visit served to help the recovery of my friend. 

" May God ever bless Jenny Lind ! 

" May she receive the reward of her charity, if, one day, she be 
wed ! 

"And if God grant her children, may it be given them to 
know of this, their mother's act." 

This kindness of hers was not forgotten, we shall find, when 
she returned to Copenhagen about two years later ; for on the 
back of the picture then presented to her — a picture of white 
roses by Jensen — appear the names of this happy little couple, 
Mozart and Mathilde. 

So ended the first flight outside the house, the first brief act 
of achievement beyond her native stage. She crossed back to 
Sweden, to continue her series of concerts ; and on reaching 
Westerwik, about the 25th of September, by the steamer 
'• Scandia," she found herself once again in company with 
Giinther and Josephson, who had lingered on in the town, after 
;i successful musical soiree. The friends joined together at the 
hotel in the evening. " I greatly rejoiced," writes Josephson, 
'• to meet her again after the brilliant triumphs she has achieved 
at Copenhagen." 

" Her genial modesty had lost nothing through her success. 
Her nature wins more and more harmony ; and in consequence 
there is more equanimity in her disposition and in her friendli- 
ness, than before she went abroad." 

Josephson was just parting with Giinther, at the close of their 
tour ; so, while Giinther went straiijht home to Stockholm, 

106 JP:NNY LIND. [bk. lu. ch. i. 

Josepbson decided to tack himself on to Jenny Lind and her com- 
panion, now on their way to give a concert at Norrkoping, where 
he might be able to help. So, on the 28th, he started after her 
in a light cart, caught up her carriage at Vida, and, after that, 
took his seat alternately on his own trap or on the box of her 
carriage, while she read aloud to him some of Hans Andersen's 
poems from a book presented to her by Hans himself. At the 
country inn they improvised a rough dinner, which they enriched 
with the music of an old barrel-organ, by chance discovered on 
the premises. They arrived at Norrkoping that night ; and spent 
the next day in arrangements and rehearsals, while, in the evening, 
Jenny was serenaded by singers from Upsala. 

On the 30th of September she gave her concert, singing airs 
from Figaro, Norma, Roherto, and Niohe. At supper that 
evening at General Cronhjelm's she was again serenaded, and 
next morning was off to Stockholm. 

She returned, for another year's work, at her old salary ; in 
the course of which, between October 4, 1843, and July 5, 1844, 
she made sixty-six appearances, in sixteen different characters, six 
of them being wholly new. She reached her sixtieth performance 
of " Alice " ; her forty-ninth of " Lucia " ; her thirty-sixth of 
" Agatha " ; her twenty-sixth of Norma ; her eighteenth of the 
Sonnamhula. The jubilee play, A May Day in Wdrend, ran 
on to within a few days of the national mourning for the King 
Carl Johan, whose death closed the theatre from March 4 to 
May 2. Among her new parts was Gluck's Armida, of which 
she wrote a characteristic note to Judge Munthe, on February 17, 
1844 :— 

" I send you some seats for my ' benefit ' on the 19 th in 
Gluck's Armida. 1 trust that you will greatly enjoy the music. 
Both the music, and the piece, are so grand, that my smallness 
will be shown out, thereby, in its true light. But I am so thrilled 
by the sublime spirit of tlie music that I am only too ready to 
risk my own personality." 

During the opening of this year, 1844, she was, in concert with 
Giinther, interesting herself greatly in the fortunes of Josephson. 
Giinther had begun to scheme on behalf of his tour abroad, 
during their trip together in the autumn ; and had already in 
November written to him about a proposal to give a concert to 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER? 107 

raise funds for this, in Stockholm. " Jenny Lind," he had then 
reported, " knows all ; and has besides received an anonymous 
letter from Upsala on the matter." On the 12th of January, 
1844, Josephson received, with rejoicing, a kind letter from Jenny 
Lind, confirming the news of the concert which she and Giinther 
were to give for his benefit.* On the 6th of March, he spent 
the morning arranging with them the details ; but, towards the 
close of April, the concert, to his great joy, was shifted from 
Stockholm to Upsala, and was fixed for "Whit Monday. It 
succeeded beyond all expectations. " All have come forward in 
the most generous, spontaneous manner, and the result has, by 
God's grace, turned out for the best. My journey is now 
guaranteed." So he '^\Tites on the 30th of May : " If hitherto 
I have belonged to Art privately, I am now challenged to work 
more generally for the holy cause. This gift from my friends 
ought to bring with it a blessing on my way, for their sympathy 
has had the largest share in bringing it about. I am all round 
besieged with kindness. How remain faithful and grateful ! " f 
So loyally and generously had she worked to fulfil the dream of 
another, who shared in her own profound aspiration after the 
highest ideal, and was beset by the same obstacles. For two 
long years, Josephson had been yearning for this opportunity, 
and now it was given him. It was a good work, which proved 
well rewarded. 

As to the Season, it must have passed much as usual. She 
wrote to Hans Andersen, at the time of the national mourning : — 

"Stockholm, 19th March, 184-^. 

"My good Brother, 

" Mr. Bournonville mentioned in his last letter to me that you 
have been shedding tears because of my silence. This, naturally, 
I take to be nonsense, but as my conscience does reproach me in 
regard to you, my good brother, I hasten to recall myself to your 
memory, and to ask my friend and brother not to be angry with 
me, but rather to furnish me soon with a proof that I have 
not forfeited my right to his friendship and goodwill. A 
thousand, thousand thanks for the pretty tales ! I find them 
divinely beautiful to such a degree as to believe them to be the 
grandest and loveliest that ever flowed from your pen. I hardly 
know to which of them I should concede the palm, but, upon 

* 'BiograDhy of J, A. Joseplison/ p. lOfJ. 
t Tb., p. 124. 

108 JENNY LIND. [bk. hi. cii. i. 

reflectiou, I think The Ugly Duclding the prettiest. — Oh, what a 
glorious gift to be able to clothe in words one's most lofty 
thoughts ; by means of a scrap of paper to make men see so 
clearly how the noblest often lie most hidden and covered over 
by wi'etchedness and rags, until the hour of transformation 
strikes and shows the ligure in a divine light ! Thanks, from 
all my heart, thanks for all this — as touching as it is instructive. 
I long now very much for the moment when I shall be allovred 
to tell my good brother by word of mouth how proud I am of 
this friendship, and with the help of my Lieder to express — if 
even in a trifling degree — my gratitude ! only that you, my 
brother, are surely better fit than any one to comprehend our 
Swedish proverb : ' Every bird sings according to his beak.' 

"This country is now in mom'ning — peace to those who are 
gone ! After all, one is happiest when once well out of the way. 
Our theatre is now closed for about seven or eight weeks, and 
this is not pleasant, but meanwhile, we are busy, studying new 
things. I must tell you, my good brother, that I have here quite 
a cosy little home ; cheerful, sunny rooms, a nightingale and a 
greenfinch : — the latter, however, is greatly superior as an artist 
to his celebrated colleague, for, Avhile the first remains on his 
bar grumpy and moody, the other jumps about in his cage, 
looking so joyous and good-natured, as if, to begin with, he was 
not in the least jealous, but, instead of that, supposes himself 
created merely for the pm*pose of cheering his silent friend ! 
And then he sings a song, so high, so deep, so charming and so 
sonorous, that I sit down beside him and, within, lift up my voice 
in a mute song of praise to Him whose ' strength is made perfect 
in weakness.' Ah ! it is divine to feel really good. My dear 
friend ! I do feel so happy now. It seems to me I have come 
from a stormy sea into a peaceful cottage. Many struggles have 
calmed down, many thoughts have become clearer, many a star 
is gleaming forth again, and I bend my knee before the Throne of 
Grace and exclaim : ' Thy will be done.' Farewell ! God bless 
and protect my brother is the sincere wish of his affectionate 

" Jenny." 

This peace in the " cosy little home " is to be quickly broken 
up. A flight al)road is now to be taken, which will carry her 
further afield than Finland, or Copenhagen. It is no less a place 
than Berlin that has begun to take note of this wonderful 
singing, and is preparing to capture it for its own service and 
joy. Meyerbeer is there, engaged in bringing out a work, which 

1842-44.] HOME: AND AFTER? 109 

is to celebrate all the glories of the Prussian kingdom : and he 
is anxious to secure all the talent open to him. He had heard 
her sing, as we know, in Paris, and had felt, then, that Berlin 
was her proper sphere : and, now, his memory and his zeal are 
kindled anew by the enthusiasm of an artist of no mean ability, 
who arrived at Berlin from Stockholm, with a fervent admiration 
for what he had seen and heard there. This artist was M. Paul 
Taglioni, a brother of the famous danseuse, a descendant, on the 
mother's side, of the Swedish tragedian Karsten, and well known 
both in Paris and Berlin, not only as a graceful dancer, but, 
also, as a skilful composer of ballets, and a judicious and 
competent critic. It was to his report that Madame Goldschmidt 
always attributed Meyerbeer's marked anxiety to engage her at 
Eerlin in order that she might take the principal part in the 
new opera — Das Feldlager in ScMesien — which he was composing 
for the opening of the new Eoyal Opera-House in the Prussian 

The records of the proposals made by Meyerbeer are lost ; but, 
some time in that summer, they reached sufficient definitencss to 
induce her to determine on a visit to Dresden in July, in order 
that she might work up her German to the level demanded by an 
appearance, on such an historic occasion, in the Opera-House at 
Berhn. Off to Dresden she resolutely went, as soon as her season 
was over, ending, as it did, on July 5, with eight performances of 
the Tiirco in Italia — an almost forgotten opera of Rossini's — in 
which she played the part of Fiorilla. Mdlle. von Stedingk tells 
us how she stole off to the theatre, incognita^ owing to the Court 
being still in mourning, and heard her in this Opera, in which, 
as she says, "she made even the unpleasant part of Fiorilla 
graceful and womanly. But I prefer Norma, which is her greatest 

Her enthusiasm breaks out in the record of a tea-party which 
she gave " in honour of Jenny Lind, previous to her departure 
for Germany ; Carl and Charlotte * were the other guests. It 
was to me an indescribable enjoyment, when she sat down at my 
piano, and sang to us. From that moment, my little room became 
dearer to me, and more harmonious than ever." 

"The Queen Dowager w^as extremely kind to Jenny, at the 
farewell audience, presenting her with portrait medals of herself 
* I.e. Count and Countess Carl Bjornstjerna. 

110 JENNY LIND. [bk. iii. ch. i. 

iind the late King, and witli a watch, which, she said, is ' To 
remind you not to forget the time of your return to us.' " 

Thus the time came for the new venture. She had thought her- 
self escaped " into a peaceful cottage from out of a stormy sea." 
So she had written to Hans Andersen in March. But a greater 
voyage into a wider sea is now before her. The wind is up : the 
sails are set : she must go. The first note that she sings in 
Berlin will have sealed her fate. There will be no withdrawal 
possible for her after that. Out into the deeper floods the strong 
currents will sweep her. The great European world, its peoples, 
its kings, its musicians, its heroes, will close in round her ; — will 
claim her with irresistible insistence. Her returns to Stockholm 
— her " beloved Stockholm " — will become rarer, and rarer : at 
last, she will come back only to em*ich it with endowments, and 
to bid it "Good-bye!'' 

( 111 




And now, for the second time, we find Mdlle. Lind leaving home 
and friends, and departing to seek new fortunes in a country 
utterly unknown to her. 

The opportunity was a splendid one, and might well have 
tempted any aspiring artist — but, it needed careful preparation. 

It had never been Mdlle. Lind's wont to trust to genius alone 
for results which, she well knew, could be attained only by the 
union of genius with conscientious industry. As a cultivated 
musician, a singer, an actress, she had nothing more to learn. 
She did not even need experience ; for, after forming her method 
in Paris, she had already had ample opportunity for testing its 
excellence in practical connection with the stage. But in order to 
ensure her success at Berlin it was necessary that she should add 
to these high qualifications an intimate acquaintance with the 
pronunciation, at least, of the German language, if not, indeed, a 
thorough masteiy of its grammatical construction ; and, far from 
attempting to evade the difficulty, she adopted the best possible 
expedient for overcoming it. She determined to set apart a 
sufficient time for quiet and regular study, not in Berlin, but in 
Dresden ; where she would not only be able to obtain without 
difficulty the best possible instruction, but could also usefully 
supplement it by attending the performances at one of the best 
Opera-Houses in Germany. And here, too, Meyerbeer had ar- 
ranged to meet her, for the purpose of consultation with regard 
to the principal part in the important work — Das Feldlager in 

112 JENNY LIND. L»k- iv. ch. i. 

Schleslea — which he was preparing for the reopening of the Grand 
Opera-House in Berlin. 

To Dresden, then, she repaired, accompanied by her annt, 
Froken Apollonia Lindskog — familiarly known by her relatives 
as Tante Lona — arriving there on the 25th of July, 1844, three 
weeks only after her last performance in Stockholm. 

By the luckiest of chances she was welcomed at the very moment 
of her arrival in the Saxon capital by her trusty and valued friend, 
Herr Jakob Axel Josephson, who w^as then, through her generous 
assistance, prosecuting his studies in Germany, and who, while 
accidentally crossing the Alte Briicke, (the grand old bridge over 
the Elbe,) passed a crowd of carriages conveying passengers into the 
town from the terminus of the Leipzig Railway, and, peeping into 
one of these, saw Mdlle. Lind with Tante Lona sitting by her side. 

"I hailed the driver immediately," he writes, in his Diary. 
" The carriage stopped ; I paid my respects to the travellers ; 
iirranged to call on them, later in the day, at their hotel, and left 
them to continue their journey." * 

After paying his visit, and finding her " happy and contented," 
he resumes : — 

" It was, in fact, to Jenny that I was indebted for the means 
of coming here myself. I had therefore a great deal to say to 
her ; but, between old friends there is no need of many words." 

The evening was pleasantly spent in a walk on the Briihl'sche 
Terrasse by moonlight, followed by a friendly supper at the hotel : 
and, after devoting the next morning to an exhaustive exploration 
of |the town in search of private apartments for the ladies, a 
pianoforte for Mdlle. Lind, and another for Herr Josephson, the 
three friends walked together, at six o'clock, to the fine old 
Opera-House,t to hear Wagner's Rienzi, which had been pro- 
duced there, with great success, in 1842, and had furnished the 
first stepping-stone to its composer's subsequent reputation. 

It will naturally be understood that, having visited Dresden 
for purposes of study only, Mdlle. Lind lived a life of comparative 
seclusion. She was furnished, however, as a matter of coiu'se, 
with letters of introduction to the Swedish Consul, Herr Karl 

* ^ Aus dem Lehen eines Schwedischen Componisten ; Gedenkhldtter an Jahoh 
Axel Josephson, vou N. P. Odman (Stockholm, 1886), vol. ii. 
+ liong since burned down, and rebuilt on a still grander scale. 

lSi4.] IN DRESDEX. 113 

Kaskel — a personal friend of ^reyerbeer — and Herr Josepbson's 
sympathetic pen has furnished us with an account of her appear- 
ance at an evening party given, during the last week in July, at 
the country-house of that gentleman's father. 

" The evening began, as usual, with conversation," he \n-ites, 
ill his Diary, " for the Saxon ladies are entertaining hostesses. 
Jkit, after a little time, they begged Jenny Lind to sing ; and, 
sitting down to the piano, she began with Berg's Fjcrran i slwg. 
Scarcely had she ended it before a cry of satisfaction rang 
through the room. She repeated the song, followed it up with 
Tro el (jladjm, sang Fjerran i skog for the third time, and finished 
with the Romance from AVinter's Das vnterhrocliene Oj''ferfest. 
As, later on, she sang the Aria from Pacini's Xiohe in her grand 
style, and adorned it with her most beautiful /or//?«T/, the general 
delight burst forth into loud applause, and all remained through- 
out the rest of the evening simply enchanted ; for God knows how 
long a time had elapsed since any one had heard anything like it. 

" For us Swedes the meeting was a truly brilliant inauguration 
of Jenny's entrance into Germany, and an especially joyful one, 
though only in so small a house ; and we remarked with pleasure 
how anxious the good Germans were to hear her in public, 
whether on the Stage or in the Concert-room." 

Apart from the sensation she created on this occasion, Mdlle. 
Lind lived, in company with Froken Apollonia, in strictest 
privacy, during the whole of the time she remained in Dresden. 
She had indeed but little time permitted to her, even for con- 
sultation with Meyerbeer or for the purpose of study ; for on the 
28th of August — one month and three days only after her arrival 
at the terminus of the Leipzig Eailway — she was recalled to 
Stockholm, to assist, in her character of " Court Singer," at the 
festivities which graced the coronation of King Oscar I. 

Queen Desideria's watch* had already marked the hour for the 
wanderer's return, though on this occasion it was to be repre- 
sented by a very brief visit. 

The Court was now out of mom-ning, and all Stockholm in 
festal attire to do honour to the approaching ceremony. Un- 
fortunately, Froken Marie von Stedingk, being in close attendance 
on the Queen Dowager, was prevented by the imperious demands 
of Court etiquette from attending the performances at the Royal 
Theatre, and her Diary therefore furnishes us with no account 
* See page 110. 


114 JENNY LTND. [bk. iv. ch. i. 

of Mdlle. Lind's appearances. But we know, from the archives 
of the theatre, that they were ten in number — viz., three of La 
Sonnamlula ; three of Norma ; one of Gluck's Armida ; and 
three introducing single acts of Der Freischutz, Norma, Lucia di 
Lammermoor, and Anna Bolena. 

So well prepared were the Swedes to appreciate their talented 
countrywoman at her true value that they could not endure the 
idea of losing her. In the hope of preventing her from singing 
in Germany, Count Hamilton, the then Director of the Eoyal 
Theatre, offered her an engagement as principal singer, for eight 
years, at an annual salary of five thousand dollars,* which was to 
be continued to her after the termination of the contract as a 
pension for life. To this offer she felt very much inclined to 
agree, though her best friends tried hard to make her see that, by 
so doing, she would deprive the rest of Europe of all participation 
in the advantages derivable from her exceptional talent. For a 
long time her resolution remained immovable. But one day a 
trusted friend bethought himself of a cmious method of per- 
suasion, which could only have occurred to one who understood 
her nature thoroughly. After leaving her, as he feared on the 
point of signing the dangerous contract, he encountered in the 
street a certain Consul General who prided himself upon an 
intimate knowledge of everything connected with music. To 
this gentleman he narrated the circumstance, with many ex- 
pressions of regret as to the turn affairs were taking. But to his 
great sm-prise the Consul General took the opposite view, 
maintaining that, notwithstanding her successes at home, the 
artist herself must have known that her powers were unequal to 
the attainment of a similar result in a more extended sphere. 
"Well knowing the effect which this absurd misrepresentation of 
the true state of the case could not fail to produce upon Jenny's 
mind, her friend lost no time in making her acquainted with it : 
and then and there he had the satisfaction of seeing her tear up 
the fatal contract and thus put an end to the discussion for ever. 

Eetreat was now impossible, and as soon as practicable after 
the last performance of Norma, on the 9th of October 1844, she 
took leave of her friends and started on her trying journey, ren- 
dered all the more painful by those fears for the unknown future 
which her constitutional diffidence forbade her to shake off. 

♦ About £420 sterling. 

( 115 ) 



Not WITHSTANDING the temporary interruption of her linguistic 
studies at Dresden, Mdlle. Lind was far from being unprepared 
for her approaching trial when the appointed time drew near. 

Of the severity of that trial, and the gravity of its inevitable 
though as yet wholly uncertain consequences, it would have been 
difficult to form an exaggerated idea. The successes achieved by 
the young artist in her own country counted as nothing when 
considered in connection with the ordeal that awaited her in 
Germany. In so far as her European reputation was concerned, 
she was really preparing to make, at Berlin, her true cUlut in the 
great world of Art ; though her arrival there had been preceded 
by rumom's which rendered it imperative that she should appear, 
not in the character of an unknown deJjutante, but in that of a 
finished artist, to be judged, not by the measure of her own merit, 
but by the achievements of the greatest prime donne who had 
appeared before the world since the beginning of the century. 
For there were critics in Berlin who were familiar with the 
performances of Mesdames Malibran and Pasta, and Sontag and 
Schroeder-Devrient, and even of the famous Madame Catalani 
herself, to say nothing of Mesdames Grisi and Persian! and other 
brilliant stars in the contemporaneous operatic firmament ; and it 
was absolutely certain that with the performances of these bright 
luminaries of past and present years would the performances of 
Mdlle. Lind be mercilessly compared. Yet, for all that, she did 
not shrink from the ordeal, and when the time of trial came she 
was ready to meet it. 

After her last performance at Stockholm, on the 9th of 
October, she made instant preparation for her journey, and, 
accompanied by Mdlle. Louise Johansson, arrived, in the third 
week of October, at Berlin, where she made arrangements for 

I 2 

116 JENNY LIN D. [bk. iv. ch. ii. 

residing, during the winter, in the house of Madame Rejer, sister 
to the Baroness von Ridderstolpe, No. 4;>, in the Franzosische 

While preparing for her first appearance on the stage, she 
passed her time in complete retirement from public life, but her 
reception by the circle of private friends to whom she was 
introduced was of the warmest character. Meyerbeer was, of 
course, unremitting in his attentions. His position towards her 
was, indeed, an almost painfully responsible one. He alone was 
answerable for her presence in the Prussian capital ; and her 
success or failm'e were matters of scarcely less importance to him 
than to her. His taste, his experience, his artistic judgment, were 
staked upon her fitness to sustain the position to which he had 
introduced her. Through him she was privately presented to the 
Royal Family, the members of which, and especially Queen 
Elizabeth, received her wdth a grace and courtesy Avhich did 
much to render her visit more than ordinarily agreeable. On 
one occasion — memorable as the first on which she was called 
upon to display her talent in the presence of the Court— she was 
invited to a reception given by the Princess of Prussia * one 
evening during the last week in November. Concerning this she 
thus wrote to her guardian. Judge Munthe : — ■ 

" Berlin, Dec. 2, 1844. 

" I have sung at Court, and been so very fortunate as to 
please greatly. This may sound somewhat conceited, but I do not 
'mean it so. The Countess Rossi (Sontag) was present, and my 
modesty prevents me from telling you w^hat she is reported to have 
said. I am meeting with extraordinary success everywhere. I go 
out much into fashionable society, because this gives the first 
entrance into the world of Art ; and — do you know ? — I am 
already known by all Berlin, and people talk of me with an 
interest so lively, and so flattering to me, that I begin to think I 
must be in Stockholm ! 

" Forgive me ! dear M. Munthe, for thus openly speaking of 
things as they occur. I promise not to become proud or con- 
ceited ; only glad and happy when things go well." 

Among the guests present at the reception thus playfully 
described were the late Earl and Countess of Westmorland. 
Lord Westmorland was at that time the English Ambassador at 
* Afterwards the Empress Augusta. 


the Court of Trass ia ; and, through the kindness of ;i member of 
His Excellency's family, we are able to present our readers with 
a vivid picture of the impression made by Mdlle. Lind's singing 
upon the Countess of Westmorland, who, it must be remembered, 
was no unenlightened or inexperienced listener ; for Lord West- 
morland was himself an ardent student of music, an excellent 
violinist, the composer of no less than one English and six 
Italian operas, and the founder of the Royal Academy of Music 
in London. When released from his political duties he lived in 
an atmosphere of Art ; and Lady Westmorland's testimony is the 
more valuable since she was in the constant habit of hearing at 
home the best music of the time. The lady to whose kindness 
we are indebted for our information writes thus :— 

*' It was, I think, in 1S44 that Meyerbeer brought Jenny 
Lind to Berlin, to come out at the new Opera-House there in the 
part he had written for her in his opera of Das FelcUager in 

*' He had told all his friends (amongst whom were my parents *) 
about this wonderful voice, and predicted that she would be the 
greatest singer-artist the century had produced. There was great 
curiosity about her, and Meyerbeer talked of her as ^iin vrai 
diamant de (jmio^ 

" Before she appeared on the stage he was asked to bring her to 
sing at a small musical party at the Princess of Prassia's (the late 
Dowager Empress Augusta) arranged for the purpose. For some 
reasons, my father was prevented from going ; my mother went 
alone. She went in, full of curiosity, and saw sitting by the piano 
a thin, pale, plain-featured girl, looking awkward and nervous, 
and like a very shy country school-girl. She could not believe 
her eyes, and said that she and her neighbours— among whom 
was Countess Ptossi (Henriette Sontag), whose fame as a singer 
and a beauty was then still recent — began to speculate whether 
Meyerbeer was playing a practical joke on them, and when he 
came up to speak to them my mother asked him if he was really 
serious in meaning to bring that frightened child out in his 
Opera. His only answer was ' Attendez^ Miladi.'' 

" When the time came for her song — I do not know what it 
was — my mother used to say it was the most extraordinary 
experience she ever remembered. The wonderful notes came 
ringing out, but over and above that was the wonderful trans- 
FiGURATiox — no other word could apply — which came over her 

* IIi= Excellency and Lady Westmorland. 

118 JENNY LIND. [ 

entire face iind figure, lighting them up with the whole fire and 
dignity of her genius. The effect on the whole audience was 
simply marvellous, and to the last day of her life my mother used 
to recall it vividly, and its effect upon her. 

" When she reached home, my father asked her — 

" ' Well, what do you think of Meyerbeer's wonder ? * 
She answered — 

" ' She is simply an angel.' 

" ' Is she so very handsome ? ' 

" ' I saw a plain girl when I went in ; but when she began to 
sing, her face simply and literally " shone like that of an angel." 
I never saw anything or lieard anything the least like it.' 

" This first effect did not wear off when she appeared on the 
stage. My mother used to say that she thought her dramatic 
power was quite as great as her musical genius, and that if she 
had had no voice she might still have been the greatest of living 
actresses. And there was this peculiarity about her acting — that 
it was entirely part of herself. It seemed not so much that she 
entered into the part as that she became, for the moment, that 
which she had to express. For this reason her acting was 
unequal. She could not render anything in which there was a 
suggestion repugnant to her own higher nature. But in a part 
that suited her — such as the Sonnamhda — she expressed every 
varying emotion of the character perfectly because she really felt 
it. And, for the same reasons, she never acted the same scene 
twice precisely alike, just as in real life no one does the same 
thing twice precisely in the same way. In her gestures and tones 
there were little unconscious variations, which the people who 
acted with her and w^nt through their own parts with mechanical 
precision often found disconcerting. 

" In these early days she was very careless of outward appear- 
ances — her Art possessed her and left her no time to think of 
herself. She disliked the artificial adjuncts of rouge, &c., which 
are a necessity of the stage, and as a natural result w^as often 
unbecomingly dressed. My mother herself and her friend 
Madame Wichmann remonstrated with her about this and made 
her attend more to these details, and in the end she learned to 
dress for her parts becomingly and gracefully, though never con- 

" On looking back I cannot help being struck with one thing. 
My parents lived a great deal in musical and theatrical society of 
all kinds, and I recollect, from my earliest childhood, hearing 
musicians and actors talked of and often praised. But even quite 
as a little girl, in Berlin, long before I w^as old enough to know 
anything about it, or even to be taken to the Opera, I can 


distinctly remember having the impression that Jenny Lind was 
something quite different from the ordinary people I heard dis- 
cussed. And there has always been a sort of reverence in the 
way they spoke of her — as they would have spoken of a very 
beautiful and very sacred picture or poem. I suppose it was the 
intense purity of her nature that made her very acting religious. 
I cannot exactly express it, but I very distinctly recollect, as a 
child, associating her name with a sort of mysterious reverence. 
And even now the same childish feeling seems to come back to 
me, mixed with the remembrance of my mother's enthusiastic love 
for her." * 

These interesting recollections prove conclusively that even 
before her first appearance in public Mdlle. Lind had completely won 
the hearts of a brilliant and influential circle of private friends, 
many of whom remained in affectionate intercourse v\^ith her to 
the last day of her life. Their kind sympathy must have en- 
com-aged her to face the coming trial with the resolution and 
fortitude it so imperatively demanded ; for, strong as was her 
<letermination when the crisis arrived, the time of anticipation 
was always one of terror and dei^ression. 

At this period also an event took place which exercised a 
marked influence on the artistic phase of her professional career, 
though less perhaps in connection with the Stage than with the 

She had been invited, on the 21st of October, to a Soiree at the 
house of Professor Wichmann in the Hasenheger Strasse. At the 
moment of starting Meyerbeer called to pay her a visit ; and 
having, no doubt, many important matters to discuss with her, 
stayed so long that she arrived at the evening party under the 
escort of Madame von Ridderstolpe some hours after the appointed 
time. However, late as it was, she did arrive there, and in a letter 
dated October the 22nd she thus describes the threat event of the 

" Last night I was invited to a very pleasant and elegantly 
fm-nished house, where I saw and spoke to Mendelssohn 
Bartholdy, and he was incredibly friendly and polite, and spoke 
of my ' great talent.' I was a little surprised, and asked him on 
what ground he spoke in this way. ' W^ell ! ' he said, ' for this 
reason, that all who have heard you are of one opinion only, and 

* From a private memorandum written by the Lady Rose Weigall, by 
whose kind permission it is inserted here. 

120 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. ii. 

that is so rare a thing that it is quite sufficient to prove to me 
what you are.' " 

This first meeting between the two great artists was a 
memorable one for both, and formed the foundation of a friend- 
ship which terminated only with the death of the beloved com- 
poser in 1847. 

That Mdlle. Lind stood in sorest need of all the help and con- 
solation that friendship could afford during the period of suspense 
that preceded her introduction [^to the general public is evident 
from private letters, in which she expresses herself in terms of 
almost hopeless despondency with regard to her capacity for ful- 
filling the expectations that had been formed of her. Her anxiety 
had, in fact, become almost intolerable — so deep that it prompted 
her to write, in agonised insistence, to her friends in Sweden, 
even before she had any decisive intelligence to communicate to 
them, either of good or evil. 

That the true nature of the intelligence she was really justified 
in sending has long since been anticipated by our readers we 
cannot reasonably doubt ; but, though the coming triumph 
seemed assured, the path to the Stage was not exactly strewn with 

chaptp:r III. 


Before narrating the events connected with Mademoiselle Lind's 
first appearance at the Court Theatre at Berlin, it is desirable that 
we should say a few words in explanation of the more than 
ordinary interest attached to the re-opening of that splendid 
Opera-House, so famous in the history of Art and so closely inter- 
woven with that of the Hohenzollern dynasty. 

One of the first acts of King Frederick the Great, after his 
accession to the throne of Prussia, on the 80th of May, 1740, 
was the foundation of an Opera-House, designed on a scale 
sufficiently splendid to eclipse the glories of every other theatre in 

The building was completed in the winter of the year 1742, and 
on the 7th of December its inauguration was celebrated with 
extraordinary pomp by a magnificent performance of Graun's 
Gesare tC- Cleopatra, at which the King and all the Court were 
present. The fitness of the theatre for the high purpose for 
which it was designed was pronounced by those best able to form 
a judgment upon the subject to be perfect ^ and, fortunately for 
Art, the building stood almost intact for more than a hundred 
years. But a fate hangs over theatres which it seems impossible 
to evade. On the night between the 18th and 19th of August, 
184:>, it was bm-ned to the ground, in the hundred and second 
year of its existence ; and, following the example of his 
illustrious ancestor, King Frederick William lY. commanded its 
immediate reconstruction, almost exactly upon the lines of the 
original design. 

The new theatre was completed towards the close of the year 
1844, and opened in the presence of the Court on the evening of 
the 7th of December. 

It was naturally to be expected that on an occasion so deeply 

122 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. hi. 

interesting to the leading members of the House of HohenzoUern 
care would be taken to present a piece in harmony with the 
spirit of the festival. To this end Meyerbeer had been com- 
manded, as we have already seen, to compose the music for an 
Opera the Uhretto of which was founded upon an episode in the 
history of King Frederick the Great, and had arranged the 
meeting with Mdlle. Lind, in Dresden, for the purpose of accommo- 
dating the principal part to the style of her performance. . The 
piece was to be called Das FeJdIager in SchUsien* and the Udretto, 
carefully prepared by L. Eellstab, brought into prominence an 
incident in the history of that famous campaign in Silesia, 
through which the world first learned to appreciate at its just 
value the military genius of the redoubtable "Vater Fritz." 
This piece was a good one, full of highly dramatic situations, 
though entirely free from violence or exaggeration. Meyerbeer's 
music was of his best. Fired by the splendour of this opportunity, 
he had thrown his whole soul into the work, and it was in 
response to his desire that the principal 7'dle should be performed 
by the most finished artist who could be persuaded to undertake 
it that Mademoiselle Lind had been invited to Berlin. 

But the intrigues of the stage are anscrutable, and cannot be 
foreseen even by the most experienced directors. Meyerbeer's 
cherished project was opposed by a local interest. 

Friiulein Tuczec, who had for years sung at the theatre as 
prima donna, claimed the right of appearing in the principal part, 
on the re-opening of the house, on the ground that she, being a 
permanent member of the company, enjoyed privileges of which 
it would be unjust to deprive her in favour of a stranger engaged 
for " guest performances " only ; f and for the perhaps still 
stronger reason that, when it had appeared doubtful whether 
Mademoiselle Lind, after having been recalled to Stockholm for 
the coronation of King Oscar, would arrive in Berlin in time to 
undertake the part, she herself had been requested to study it. 

* The full title of the Opera was, " I) as Feldlager in Schlesien. Oper, 
in drei Aufziigen, in Lebenshilderu aus der Zeit Friedrich des Grossen, von 
L. Eellstab. Musik von Meytrheer. Tdnze von Hoguet" " The Camp of 
Silesia. Opera, in three Acts, in Life-pictures of the time of Frederick the 
Great, by L. Eellstab. Music by Meyerbeer. Dances by Hoguet." 

t Gastrollen. lu the German theatres, performers not belonging to the 
regular company, and employed for a limited number of performances only, 
are called "guests" (^Giiste), and engnged on special terms, without a formal 
contract in writing. 


The case was not without its difficulties. On both sides there 
was a show of justice with respect to the conflicting claims ; 
and, even while those claims were still in abeyance, a false 
account of the circumstances had already found its way into 
the newspapers. To correct this, Mademoiselle Lind wrote the 
following letter to her friend, M. Lars Hierta, at Stockholm : — 

" Berlin, Nov. 25, 1844. 

** Herr Konigl. Secretiir, 

" Kindly excuse me if, for a few moments, I beg to en- 
croach upon your valuable time. 

" Having seen, in an article in the * Aftonblad,' reproduced 
from the ' Frankfurter Ober-Postamt-Zeitung,' that my friends 
in Stockholm are incorrectly informed about my position in 
Berlin, I venture, Herr Koniglicher Secretiir, to call your atten- 
tion to the following lines. 

" I came to Berlin under the impression that the principal role 
in the new Opera * had been assigned to no other than myself ; 
but I found that it was also given for study to Mademoiselle 
Tuczec, under the apprehension that my detention in Sweden 
might otherwise have rendered it necessary to delay i\iQ opening 
of the new Opera-House. On my arrival in Berlin, however, 
Meyerbeer took it for granted that I, for whom he had composed 
the part, should undertake to sing it at the first representation. 
He therefore called upon Mademoiselle Tuczec, and — perhaps 
with some temper — informed her that I had now arrived, that 
the part was mine, and that it was consequently my duty to sing 
it for the first time. 

"•Mademoiselle Tuczec, who is very nervous, was altogether 
beside herself, and wrote a petition to the King begging His 
Majesty to permit her to appear at the opening of the new 

" When this came to my knowledge I was greatly surprised, 
for I had not heard a single word of it, and did not even know 
that the rule had been given to Mademoiselle Tuczec. And as 
I am not fond of strife, and understand nothing whatever of 
intrigue, I ceded my place with pleasure — the more willingly 
because I considered that Mademoiselle Tuczec was right, since 
she had had the part for some time, and was, moreover, a great 
favourite with the public here, while I am quite unknown and a 
foreigner also. 

" In addition to this there remains the question of the foreign 
language. It surely would be very unfavourable for me, under 

* JDas Feldlager in Schlesien. 

12-i JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. iir. 

these circumstances, to make mj first appearance in connection 
with dialogue and melodrama ! 

" It is I, then, who have really arranged the whole matter, and 
Mademoiselle Tuczec seems quite satisfied with me. 

" 1 hope, Herr Koniglicher Secretar, that you have been able to 
understand my disjointed phrases, and that you will be good 
enough to say a few words in my behalf in your paper in order 
that my friends in Stockholm may be aware of the true state of 
the matter — and also of this, that, though I am a poor sensitive 
lonely girl, in a foreign land and surrounded by cabals and 
intrigues, I am none the less possessed of a heart that beats high 
at the thought of Sweden, and am consequently not always in a 
cheerful mood ; and this I know, that the pleasure I have been 
happy enough to give my countrymen — at times, perhaps, when 
my mind was most oppressed — would be forgotten, beyond all 
doubt, if at any moment I appeared here without success, even 
though my talent remained undiminished. But rather than 
involve myself in law-suits I would renounce everything ; and as 
long as I have my two hands to work with I would rather earn 
my bread, under such circumstances, away from the stage. 

" Begging you to convey my kind regards to your wife and 
the other members of your family, I take the liberty of signing 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Jenny Lind." 

As the reader will, no doubt, have already foreseen, Mdlle. 
Lind's intervention on the side of simple justice produced a marked 
reaction in Friiulein Tuczec's favour ; and, to Meyerbeer's intense 
disappointment, the part of " Vielka," in the new Opera, was 
officially confided to the ^viYileged ])n'ma donna. 

The inauguration of the new Court Theatre was celebrated 
with the utmost possible splendour on the 7th of December, in 
presence of the Royal Family, the foreign ambassadors, and a 
brilliant gathering of all the rank and fashion of Berlin. The 
general success of the festival was, of course, assured beforehand ; 
but though Das Feldlager in Schlesien contained some of the best 
and most attractive music that Meyerbeer had as yet produced, it 
was evident that it failed to make the desired impression upon 
the public — for the simple reason that the principal role was 
unsuited to the style of the performer who had undertaken to 
interpret it. It bristled with difficulties with which but very few 
of the best sinsrers of the day would have been able to contend ; 


and the music, expressly written for Mademoiselle Lind, had been 
so exactly adapted to the quality of her voice and the style of her 
execution, that it would necessarily have lost its greatest charm 
if it had been entrusted to any other singer than herself, however 
highly accomplished. As it was, the new piece could scarcely 
have been regarded as having fallen very much short of a failure ; 
and Meyerbeer's chagrin at the cold reception of his long-cherished 
work was very bitter indeed. It was an unfortunate mistake, 
and the more to be regretted because it placed a really clever 
singer and actress — w^hich Mademoiselle Tuczec undoubtedly was 
— in a cruelly false position. 

In the meanwhile, since Mdlle. Lind had been prevented, by 
untoward circmnstances, from taking an active part in the festival 
with which the new Opera-House was inaugurated, there clearly 
remained no reason why she should not make her first appearance 
before a German audience in one of her own favourite parts ; 
and she herself felt it to be eminently desirable that an Italian 
Opera should be selected for the occasion. 

Her choice fell upon Norma, in which she had already achieved 
immense success, notwithstanding the well-known fact — or perhaps 
by reason of it — that her interpretation of the role differed in 
every one of its most striking characteristics from that adopted 
l)y ever J prima donna of note who had undertaken to impersonate 
the unhappy priestess from whom Bellini's master-piece takes its 
now familiar name. And, though Mdlle. Lind chose it for her 
(Ul)ut, ^iih.0Vit a thought of constructive rivalry, she ^really, by 
that bold and, as it turned out, most happy choice, unconsciously 
staked her reputation against that of every prima donna who had 
charmed the public, from Madame Pasta, for whom the part was 
Avritten, in 1882, to Madame Grisi, who was nightly playing it in 
London and in Paris in the self -same year 1844. 

The debut was fixed for Sunday the 15th of December, and its 
success exceeded the warmest expectations of all concerned. The 
public was in raptures — the critic"^ were disarmed. The heroines 
of the past and present were forgotten. The new reading of the 
part commended itself to all. Madame Pasta had rendered it 
with a noble energy, a fiery power, worthy of high admiration, 
though, it must be confessed, more remarkable for its vigour than 
its womanly tenderness. Madame Grisi, inheriting the role 
directly from her great predecessor, in company with whom she 

12G JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. m. 

had, in the original cast, played the secondary part of Adalgisa — 
Madame Grisi, with even less of tenderness and more exaggerated 
energy, delineated a Pythoness, with whom a Gallic barbarian 
might very possibly have fallen in love. But Pollio was not 
*' a Gallic barbarian." He was a true Eoman, voluptuous, in- 
constant, ready to sink weakly into the arms of a new mistress 
without a thought of remorse, when his passion for his first 
inamorata began to cool, but incapable of yielding to the violence 
of a Maenad. He might perhaps have fallen in love with 
Madame Pasta's Norma, but not with Madame Grisi's. 

Upon these two primary interpretations of the part all later 
ones were based, until, for the first time in its history, Mdlle. 
Lind presented the impassioned Druidess before the world in the 
character of a true woman. The critics of Berlin, familiar with 
every tradition of the Stage, accepted the new ideal as the highest 
impersonation of the character of Norma that had as yet been 
presented to the public. One of them,* writing in the leading 
journal of the day, gives us the following account of the im- 
pression it made upon him, both from a musical and a dramatic 
point of view. After some preliminary remarks of no general 
interest, he begins his critique proper with a description of the 
artist herself : — 

" Her voice," he says, " not without fulness, but more pleasing 
than powerful, moves with charming lightness and certainty ; 
though the middle register is sometimes shaded by a soft veil 
which serves to bring out the upper notes in clearest and most 
silvery contrast. This beautiful natural gift is supplemented by 
a groundwork of most diligent study. Her pronunciation — 
though the German language is not familiar to her — ^is pleasing, 
clear, and distinct. She possesses that sustaining-power of tone 
which in the best Italian school lends so peculiarly tender a 
colour to Recitative. But the high cultivation of her style most 
strikingly manifests itself in the clearness and pearly evenness of 
her passages. We have heard such passages sung with greater 
rapidity, but never with greater perfection. 

" So much for the Singer. 

" And the Actress — especially in the elasticity of her motions — 
i& of fully equal excellence. 

"All her movements have a womanly charm, which gives a 

* Herr Ludwig Kellstab, crilic and poet, the author of the libretto of Bas 
Feldlager in SchUsien. 


beautiful expression to her voice, while, at the same time, it shows 
no lack of character, or energy, or majesty. 

" One might not unnaturally suppose, from these general 
features in the portrait of our artist, that JVorma, at least, ruled 
by demons of darkness, would give her some trouble. But it is 
exactly here that her conception reconciles us with this fearful 
character. She bases it throughout upon the element of love, 
that one day changes this proud priestess into a humble slave. 
Pasta presents a " Xorma " before whom, our artist a " Norma " 
with whom, we tremble. The art of the one is broader, more 
astonishing ; that of the other more sweet and enthralling. Upon 
these essential peculiarities the part depends for its culminating 
point of interest. 

" Until now no singer has ever sung the Cavatina, Casta Diva, 
as we think it ought to be sung. She clothes the melody in that 
pale romantic moonlight under the influence of which it was 
conceived, and she knows so well how to sustain this colouring 
throughout the difficulties of the mechanical passages — that the 
highest triumph of her thrilling delivery is achieved in the clear 
execution of the chromatic runs. The singer here obtained a 
mark of recognition which has never before been witnessed within 
the experience of any of us — the air was encored, and the artist 
called forward in the middle of the act ! 

" The summons of the singer before the curtain after the first 
act and at the close of the performance is a theatrical accessory 
which speaks for itself. Among the public there was not one 
single dissentient voice : its verdict truly represented the expression 
of its thanks for the gift received." 

"Warm as is this eulogium, those who are fortunate enough to 
remember Mdlle. Lind's impersonation of the part of " Norma " 
will confess that it is in no degree exaggerated. " Norma " was 
certainly one of her most perfect creations, comparable only to her 
interpretation of the roles of " Alice " in Robert le Diable and 
"Amina" in La SonnambuJa. Even in the master-pieces of 
Mozart, her vocal powers were scarcely displayed to greater 
advantage, and as an actress she could not have won higher and 
purer praise, even in a classical tragedy. 

From the moment of this first performance, the reputation she 
had already attained, in Stockholm, was more than confirmed, and 
her position in Berlin assured. She appeared in Norma for the 
second and third times with equal success. Then followed a few 
days of retirement from the turmoil of actual publicity, concerning 

128 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. hi. 

the employment of which we are fiiruishcd with au interesting 
account from a sympathetic pen. 

On the 23rd of December her young friend, Herr Josephson, 
arrived in Berlin on an invitation to spend Christmas with her. 
After meeting her at Madame Reyer's he writes in his Diary : — 

" I have spent a merry Swedish Christmas Eve with Jenny and 
the Reyers. The Baroness Ridderstolpe was there, and some 
Swedish ladies who were here on a visit had been assisting our 
hostess to arrange everything in true Swedish fashion. Amidst 
joyful friendly faces, cheering and beautiful gifts, and a profusion 
of lights, a harmonious tone pervaded the whole, despite a few 
passing clouds over the sky of the Swedes when thinking of the 
dear ones left behind. If we were to be so far away from home 
we could not wish for anything better or happier ! " 

The homely little Swedish festival recalls a similar one which 
took place in Paris in 18-1:1, at the house of Mdlle. du Puget. 

But how different the circumstances. Then Mdlle. Lind was 
labouring to acquire the technical knowledge and power of execu- 
tion, with which she hoped one day to accomplish something 
worthy of the high mission which in her heart of hearts she felt 
certain had been committed to her. Xow she had accomplished 
it. There was hard work before her, it is true ; and it was 
not her wont to neglect anything that she believed to be her 
duty. Still, it was familiar work, and there could be no reason- 
able doubt as to its results. 

( r20 ) 



Mdlle. Lixd's triumph was but a few days old when she began 
to devote herself to the exercise of that boundless charity in 
which, throughout the whole of her life, she took infinitely 
greater interest than that which she bestowed upon her own 
advancement in the world. 

On Sunday, the 21)th of December, Herr Josephson — who had 
been reading one of Pastor Lindgren's sermons to her early in 
the morning at Madame Peyer's — accompanied her, later in the 
day, to the house of Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, a lady under whose 
superintendence she had resumed her study of the German language 
so inopportunely interrupted in Dresden. 

" She had just returned," says Herr Josephson in his Diary, 
" from the Intendant of the Theatre, Herr von Ktistner, who had 
offered her an engagement for six months, with an honorarium of 
six thousand thalers and a benefit.* She had, of course, not yet 
given her answer ; but she felt grateful and happy that such a 
sum should have been offered to her without any suggestion 
whatever from herself. 

" ' I feel bound,' " she said, " ' in one way or another, to prove 
in a practical way my thankfulness to God, who has given me so 
much prosperity. You remember — do you not ? — something that 
I once spoke to you about when we were at Dresden ? I myself 
have good reason to remember it, for now you will be able to go 
to Italy whenever you like.' f 

" We had only a short distance to walk. There was no time 
for long explanation. I only replied, therefore, that I thought it 
was too soon to think of this, and that, moreover, in accepting 

* Six thousand thalers is equal to about £900 in English money. 

t A sojourn in Italy, for purposes of study, had been the dream of Herr 
Josephson's life; and it is evident that he must have spoken to her about it 
in Dresden during the previous summer. 

130 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. iv. 

her proposal, I should always consider myself her debtor, as even 
I might hope for more success in the future. 

" Every day reveals to me some new trait in her character ; and 
I know not which is greatest, my gratitude to, or my admiration 
for, her. I stand daily on a more and more intimate and 
brotherly footing with her, and am therefore able to accept gladly 
and thankfully from her that which from many others I could not 
take without a certain reservation of feeling. I can only pray 
that, in her restless life, peace may one day obtain the victory." 

Of the result of this conversation we shall have to speak more 
fully hereafter. For the moment we must follow Mdlle. Lind in 
the fulfilment of her own career. 

She was already accepted as the greatest singer and actress then 
living. Meyerbeer was in raptures with her, and his desire that 
the principal role in his new Opera should be assigned to her grew 
stronger and stronger every day. Though he had, hon gre malgre, 
suffered Fraulein Tuczec to appear in it on the opening night, 
he had never relinquished his long-cherished project. He had 
written the part of " Vielka " expressly for Mdlle. Lind, and was 
quite determined that the task of interpreting it in accordance 
with his own idea should be contided to her. It was due to his 
artistic position that Fraulein Tuczec should resign into more 
masterly hands the duty she had so imprudently undertaken to 
fulfil, and fulfilled so imperfectly that the success of the Opera was 
more than endangered by the unfitness of the role for her. To 
this compromise Mdlle. Lind was quite willing to assent, but 
some little time and a great deal of very hard study were needed 
in order to secure a perfect interpretation of the role. For, after 
the manner of the time-honoured German Schausjnel, the new 
Opera contained, in place of classical recitative, long passages of 
spoken dialogue, and it was chiefly for the sake of attaining a 
more perfect accent in the delivery of these that she had resumed 
her studies in German under the direction of Madame Birch- 

She could scarcely have made a better or a more fortunate 
choice ; for the lady — of whom we shall have to speak again more 
particularly hereafter — had herself been well known as a clever 
and intelligent actress, and under her maiden name — Charlotte 
Pfeiffer — had appeared on the stage with success in Munich, 
Vienna, Berlin, and mauy other important German capitals. 


Under the superintendence of this lady, Mdlle. Lind made such 
rapid progress in the German language that within less than a 
fortnight after her third performance of Norma she was ready to 
appear in the new part. 

The gifted composer w^as delighted with her interpretation of 
his music, w^hich, as was his wont, he altered, re-wrote, improved, 
and not unfrequently injured, with microscopic attention to every 
minutest detail till the very last moment. Herr Josephson was 
present at two of the last rehearsals, on the 3rd and 4th of 
January, which he thus describes in his Diary : — 

" January o, 1845, Meyerbeer was altogether enchanted with 
Jenny's singing, and embraced her at the end of the rehearsal. 
Before producing the Opera he called upon her, to the best of my 
lielief, at least a hundred times, to consult about this, that, or the 
other. He alters incessantly, cm-tails here, dovetails there, and 
thus, by his eagerness and anxiety, prevents the spontaneous 
growth of the work, and imparts a fragmentary character to its 

In this fastidious desire to secure the most perfect finish in 
every insignificant detail Meyerbeer was only following out his 
own invariable custom — and, after all, his crowd of after-thoughts 
was not greater than that which haunted Beethoven until his 
works were actually in print. However, he was satisfied at last ; 
Das FeUUager in ScMesien was duly performed, with Mdlle. Lind 
in the principal part ; and its effect upon the audience was even 
more striking than that produced by the great performance of 
Xorma exactly three weeks previously. 

The most influential jom-nal of the period gave an account of 
the performance no Jess generously enthusiastic than that which 
had appeared after the first representation of Norma. 

" Through her second role — ' Yielka,' in the FeJdlager — Mdlle. 
Lind has proved," says the critic, "that her talent fulfils the 
highest conditions not only in one direction, but in many. 

" Om* task would never come to an end were we to notice every 
striking detail, every truthful charm, with which throughout the 
entire role she illustrated her delineations. Her outward ex- 
pression rendered every inward feeling with the veracity of a 
mirrored picture. Fear, love, hope, joy, all imprinted themselves 
with equal ease and truthfulness to nature upon every gesture and 
every significant movement. She set before us earnest, tragic, 

K 2 

132 JENNY LIND. - [bk. iv. ch. iv. 

joyful, lively surprises, in endless variety. We remember, for 
instance, the manner in which she rendered the little phrase, 'He 
is saved ! He is hidden ! ' in the finale to the first act ; how, in 
the third act, she drag-ged Conrad to the writing-table ; and — 
more beautiful than all— how she sang the little added recitative 
at the close as she retired backwards from the royal cabinet. 

" But are we to busy ourselves, then, only with the acting ? 
Have we nothing to say concerning the singer ? 

" Yes, indeed ! to repeat everything that we said after her first 
appearance. The singer is here exactly Avhat she was then. The 
mild timhre of the voice, the clearness of the finished passages, 
the colouring of the tones through their ever-changing expression, 
are here, as everywhere, apparent. In a host of piquant cadences 
introduced by the composer, no less than in the duet with the two 
flutes in the third act,* the art of the singer asserts itself in its 
most powerful form. And thus a picture is presented that, 
through the romantic conception of the whole no less than 
through the charm of its multifarious details, imprints itself 
indelibly upon the soul." 

It was in all probability this highly-favourable critique which 
Mademoiselle Lind sent to her friend, Fru Lindblad, in a letter 
dated January 8, 1845, from which we reproduce the following 
extract : — 

" Everything seems to go well in hand. It Avould be impossible 
to imagine a greater success than I have made here in Berlin. 
Sontag herself had not so brilliant a triumph. Last Sunday, the 
5th, I appeared in Meyerbeer's new Opera, and I herewith enclose 
a critique. 

" I do feel so happy about Meyerbeer's exceeding satisfaction. 
And I feel easier in my mind for having been able to put his 
Opera into better relief ; for through Mdlle. Tuczec's unequal 
rendering of my part it very nearly came to grief. I almost think 
I achieved a greater triumph than in Norma. 

" Last night Josephson and I were at Frau Bettina Arnim's, 
and I cannot conceive how the time passed so quickly. We did 
not return till after twelve ! The old lady is divinely child-like 
sometimes. When she is in her right element, and creeps up in 
her chair, with all those sweet girls dispersed around her on the 
floor, one can only envy their light-heartedness and indejoendence 
of the narrow judgment of the world. 

* Tills famous piece, in which tlie voice is accompanied by two flutes 
(phhligati), was afterwards transferred, by Meyerbeer, to L'EtoUe du Nord. 


" Nowadays the world is influencing me very considerably, and 
just now I cannot say that creeping- is my principal pleasure. It 
looks, however, as if I might become independent some day ; for 
I am now invited to go to London, and it will be curious to see 
where all this will land me. This evening I am invited to Tieck's.' 

Continued on the 9th of January, 1845 : — 

" Last evening was one rich in enjoyment. The talented old 
man,* with that frail body of his, was a touching sight. I had 
the honour of taking turns with him ; for, when he had recited 
a poem, I had to sing a song. And in this way the evening flew 
by very quickly indeed." 

Though she speaks thus modestly of the possibility that she 
may some day " ])ecome independent," it was evident that her 
future was now assured. The demonstration that accompanied 
her first appearance in Das Feldlager in SchJesieii proved to be no 
evanescent burst of enthusiasm. Every one of her performances 
was a veritable triumph, and so strong was the popular feeling 
that, after the fourth performance of Das FeldJager in ScMesien 
on the 21st of January, she was publicly greeted with a serenade, 
which is thus described in the journal from which we have already 
quoted : — 

" After the Opera, in which, as always, Mdlle. Lind had achieved 
the most brilliant success, a number of singers and young musicians 
greeted the artist at her residence with a vocal serenade. Four 
poems, ]jy Messieurs Forster, Kopisch, Schnackenburg, and Rell- 
stab, had been set to music for the occasion by Messieurs Rungen- 
hagen, Commer, Llihrs, and Wichmann. The artist received this 
expression of homage to her talent in the modest manner which 
so greatly enhances the value of her artistic gifts, and seemed 
deeply moved by this acknowledgment of them. The poems were 
brought to her printed upon a white satin fillet, and presented, 
with a laurel crown, upon a satin cushion." 

The white satin fillet was preserved by Madame Goldschmidt, 
and is still treasured by her family as a precious heirloom. 

* The poet, Tieck. 

134 JENNY LIND. [hk. iv. ch. v. 



"We called attention in our opening" chapter to the fact that, 
notwithstanding a very wide-spread belief to that effect, Mdlle. 
Lind's artistic reputation was neither confined to nor even made 
in the country of her final adoption — England. 

Nor was it the special property of Germany — though, for the 
world in general, it certainly originated there. 

Before she had appeared five times on the stage in Berlin, it 
had spread so far that an attempt was made to induce her to visit 

She alludes to this, as we have seen, in her letter to Fru Lind- 
blad, written two days after her first appearance in the part of 

The matter was brought about in this wise. 

Mr. Alfred Bunn, the then lessee of Drury Lane Theatre, went 
to Berlin in the hope of securing Mdlle. Lind for his approaching 
season of English Opera. He was an experienced manager, and 
had attained, by long experience, the power of predicting, with 
absolute certainty, whether or not an artist was likely to find 
lasting favour with the public. His visit to Berlin was well- 
timed. He was fortunate enough to hear Mdlle. Lind, and to be 
thus enabled to judge for himself how far the rumours he had 
heard were well-founded. To a man of his long experience, one 
hearing was more than enough to decide the question. He saw 
at a glance that, if he could only succeed in attaching her to his 
company at Drury Lane Theatre, his fortune would be made. 
And, being a man of prompt action, he lost no time in making 
an offer which, to a young singer, seemed not illiberal. But how 
could she form a fair judgment upon it ? — she who was utterly 
ignorant of everything connected with the stage except in so 
far as its artistic aspect was concerned ? He pressed for an 
immediate answer. Naturally enough, she hesitated. He was 
urgent. It was manifestly to his interest to allow her the least 

1845.] THE BUXX CONTRACT. 135 

possible time for reflection, and still less for taking advice ; 
for the intervention of a thoronghly disinterested and business- 
like friend might ruin everything — for him. Not a word could 
1)6 said against his position from a business point of view. He 
was perfectly justified in endeavouring to secure the services 
of the most splendid dramatic artist he had ever met with on 
the lowest possible terms. But it was hard upon the artist, 
who was probably less able to form a true estimate of her own 
value in the theatrical market than any one in Berlin. She knew 
what she was worth to Art ; but the manager alone knew what 
she was worth to him. And, as a man of business, he was cer- 
tainly not bound to enlighten her on a subject in which hei 
interests were diametrically opposed to his own. The danger was 
that some one else might enlighten her at any moment. And to 
prevent this he pressed his offer upon her with the utmost possible 
urgency. It would be unfair to blame him for it. Any other 
manager would quite certainly have done the same. Yet our 
readers must surely feel with us that it was very hard upon her. 
On the 10th of January the matter came to a crisis. 
On that evening Mdlle. Lind was to play the part of " Yielka " 
for the second time, and so great was the excitement with which 
the announcement of the coming event was received, that Herr 
von Kiistner, the Intendant of the Opera-House, finding it im- 
possible to supply the demand for places, determined to raise the 
prices of admission. As the season advanced, the demand for 
tickets increased to such an " extraordinary and unaccustomed 
extent," that the number of applications frequently amounted to 
twice, and even thrice, the number of places at the disposal of 
the Royal Intendantur, who found it necessary to issue elaborate 
instructions as to the form in which preliminary application for 
tickets was to be made. Even with these safeguards the number 
of final disappointments, when the season came to a close, was 
enormous ; and, so great was the pressure, that no less than four 
clerks were kept constantly employed in answering the letters of 
application in the order of their arrival. 

In the midst of this excitement Mr. Bunn was fortunate enough 
to obtain a seat in the box of the British Ambassador. We have 
already had occasion, in a previous chapter, to speak of Lord 
"Westmorland's deep interest in everything connected with the 
Art, of which, during the whole of his long and useful life, he 

136 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. v. 

was so generous and mimificenfc a patron. He was no less 
enthnsiastic in his admiration for Mdlle. Lind's talent than Lady 
Westmorland, whose opinion on the snbject we have already 
learned ; and his personal regard for her was sincere and lasting 
— so lasting that he remained her friend until the end of his life. 
He had been informed that an engagement for London had been 
proposed ; and, for the credit of his country's taste, he was 
anxious that so great an artist should be heard and duly appre- 
ciated there. It is more than probable that she had, before this, 
asked his advice upon the subject ; but what could he say ? He 
was as ignorant of managerial business and managerial terms as 
she was, and was an absolute stranger to the manifold intrigues 
which seem to be inseparable from the destiny of a " Child of the 
Drama." To him the proposal seemed an advantageous one, and 
there seems no doubt that he said as much to her. 

Our information concerning the events of this memorable 
evening is very far from complete. In after life Madame Gold- 
schmidt could rarely be induced to speak of the occasion, the 
disastrous results of which she could never recall without pain. 

In presence of this element of doubt it seems not unnatural to 
believe that His Excellency may well have expressed his opinion 
on the matter without resorting to actual persuasion ; and we 
now know with absolute certainty that he was at first inclined to 
regard the proposal in a favourable light, but afterwards entirely 
changed his mind, and rejoiced greatly that it was never put into 

Passing from the discussion of the incidental circumstances 
here related, we proceed to put our readers in possession of a 
literal translation of the now famous " Bunn contract," the text 
of which was originally drawn up in French to the following 
purport : — 

"Mr. Bunn director of Drury Lane Theatre London makes 
the following offers to Mdlle. Jenny Lind and engages to execute 
them entirely at his own risks and perils if Mdlle. Lind accepts 
them : 

" (1) Mr. Bunn engages Mdlle. Lind to sing twenty times at 
Drury Lane Theatre either from 15th June to :31st July 1845 or 
from 30th September to 15th November 18-1:5. It depends upon 
Mdlle, Lind to decide which of these two different epochs is 
most convenient to her, but she engages herself to make known 

]845.] THE BUXN CONTKACr. 137 

her choice to Mr. Bunn not later than the end of the month of 

" (2) Mr. Bunn engages to pay to Mdlle. Lind the sum of 
fifty Louis (for* for each of these twenty representations and 
allow her also the half of a benefit (gross receipts). 

" (3) Mr. Bnnn engages to pay to Mdlle. Lind the stipulated price 
of fifty Louis always tAventy-fonr hours after each representation. 

" (-t) Mdlle. Lind will sing three times a week and not oftener 
except during the last week. She will never sing on two 
following days and Mr. Bunn engages to leave an interval of at 
least one day between one representation and the next. 

" (5) Mdlle. Lind will make hev debut in the part of 'Yielka ' 
in the Opera Fin FeldJafjer in Schlesien by Meyerbeer and she 
will afterwards sing also the role of ' Amina ' in La Sonnamhula 
by Bellini if Mr. Bunn requires it. It is understood that Mdlle. 
Lind will only sing in two roles during the whole course of her 

"(G) Mr. Bunn will find at his cost the costumes for the twa 
roles of Mdlle. Lind. 

" (7) Mdlle. Lind accepts these conditions but as she has not 
time to consider sufficiently the contract which Mr. Bunn pre- 
sents to her to-day and as Mr. Bunn must depart to-morrow she 
reserves the right of introducing additions and changes into this, 
contract if that appears to her necessary but she must make 
them known to Mr. Bunn by the 1st of March at the latest. 
Meanwhile it is well imderstood that such additions and changes 
as Mdlle. Lind may introduce must never apply to the first or 
second articles which must remain fixed as they are now. 

"It is agreed equally that if the changes and additions are not 
agreeable to Mr. Bunn he shall have the right to reject them 
but if this be done the treaty shall be revoked and regarded as. 
null and of no effect. 

" Executed in duplicate at Berlin the 10th January 1815." 

It was in these terms that the contract between Mdlle. Jenny 
Lind and Mr. Alfred Bunn was duly signed and ratified, in the 
presence of the British Ambassador, and in His Excellency's box 
at the Berlin Opera-House — and therefore, in the political sense 
of the term, within British territory — on the 10th of January, 
1815. That is to say, " duly signed " by Mdlle. Lind ; but, as' 
we shall hereafter be able to show, the " duplicate " given to her 
was not signed by Mr. Bunn. She had in her possession no legal 
proof whatever of her own rights in the matter. 

* Equal to about £40 in English money. 

138 JENNY LIND. [ 



After performing seven times in Korma, and five m Dax 
Feldlager in ScMesien, Mdlle. Lind was announced to appear, on 
Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Euryanthe, on a more than ordinarily in- 
teresting occasion. 

Carl Maria von Weber had died, in London, at the house of 
his friend, Sir George Smart, in Great Portland Street, on the 
night between the 4th and 5th of June, 1826. He had been laid 
to rest, on the 21st, far away from home and friends, in a vault 
beneath the floor of S. Mary's Chapel, Moorfields. But, in the 
autumn of 1811, the surviving members of his family, aided by a 
few devoted friends and admirers — foremost among whom were 
his pupil, Mr. (afterwards Sir Julius) Benedict,* and the then 
almost unknown Richard Wagner — made a vigorous effort to 
treat his memory with the homage which had been denied to 
him by his ungrateful fellow-citizens during his life-time ; 
and, at their expense, his remains were exhumed, transported to 
Dresden, and, on the night of Dec. 14, deposited in a vault in the 
Cemetery of Friedrichstadt in which his son Alexander had been 
buried only a fortnight before. His widow and surviving 
children, supported by Madame Schroeder-Devrient and a crowd 
of sympathising fellow-artists, covered his coffin with laurels and 
flowers, and it was proposed to erect over it a monument worthy 
of his fame. Great efforts were made to collect sufficient funds 
for the execution of this project, and a grand performance of 
Euryanthe had been promised at the Berlin Opera-House in aid 
of the pious purpose. 

It was on this solemn occasion that, for the first time in the 
language in which it was originally produced, Mdlle. Lind sang 
the part of " Euryanthe." 

* See his " Life of Weber," in • The Great Musicians.' 

1845.] HOMAGE TO WEBEli. 139 

A prologue, written for the occasion bj Herr Rellstab, was 
spoken by Frllulein Charlotte von Hagen, and no pains were 
spared for the purpose of rendering the performance worthy of 
its high intent. The whole musical world took a vivid interest 
in the proceedings. Dresden had nobly expiated the long course 
of neglect which had terminated so sadly, and so fatally, eighteen 
years before. And now Berlin had taken up the good cause, in 
the name and with the full consent of the whole Fatherland. 

The task assigned to her, in connection with this solemn 
festival, was, beyond all doubt, the most difficult one that had 
ever been, or was ever destined to be entrusted to her, during the 
whole of her artistic career. And she inherited the difficulty 
from Weber himself. 

From first to last, Eunjanthe had never been understood, either 
by the critics, or by the public. The scope and purpose of its 
design had escaped them all. 

When the Opera was first produced at Yienna, in 1823, it 
soared so high above the heads of the audience, that the brainless 
wits of the period nicknamed it L' Ennuyante, and the stupid 
joke was accepted as a miracle of esprit. When Madame 
>Schroeder-De\Tient afterwards undertook the interpretation of 
the principal role, she sang the music superbly, but utterly 
ignored the supernatural element, upon which Mdlle. Lind seized 
as the leading motive of the whole impersonation. She pene- 
trated Weber's meaning, though the critics did not. They could 
not withstand the power of her conception — it would have been 
impossible to have done so — but they utterly failed to compre- 
hend its moving spirit. 

The following quotation from a critique which appeared in the 
Berliiimlie Zeitung on Feb. 13 will explain this clearly enough :— - 

" In the first act, the singer presents before us all that she 
possesses of loveliness and grace. The duet with Eglantine * — 
Madame Palm-Spatzer — and the finale, are pearls of finished 
execution. But, for us, the greatest achievement in this act is 
the narrative of the apparition of Emma, which, in dramatic and 
vocal expression, fulfils the highest demands of an Art-ideal." 

This is high praise, but it does not touch the vital point. At 
tlie hundred-and-twenty-ninth bar of the Overture — which intro- 
* ' Tenter ist mein Stern gegangen.^ 

1-iO JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vi. 

duces the wonderful Largo — ^yeber directed that the curtain 
should rise upon a gloomy tableau, intended to prepare the 
spectator for the secret which forms the mainspring of the plot. 
The stage represents a sepulchral vault, in the centre of which 
lies Emma's coffin, surmounted by a medieval herse. This having 
been exposed to view for a few moments only, the curtain slowly 
descends again, and the Overture proceeds with the contrapuntal 
treatment of the bold subject which follows. 

The audience is now fully prepared to understand the secret of 
Eglantine's treachery ; and when, in the first act, Euryanthe 
narrates to her the story of the ghostly " apparition," the connec- 
tion is kept up by the recurrence of the weird harmonies already 
heard in the laryo of the Overture. 

In modern performances, this tableau is almost always omitted. 
Whether it was exhibited or not at the Berlin Opera-House we 
cannot say ; but however that may have been, it is certain that 
Mdlle. Lind penetrated the composer's idea, seized upon this 
salient point in his conception, and brought it out so clearly that 
even Herr Eellstab, though so strongly prepossessed in favour of 
another reading of the part, pointed to this very scene as 
" fulfilling the highest demands of an Art-ideal." 

Euryanthe was announced for repetition on the next Opera 
night, but in consequence of the illness of Madame Palm-Spatzer, 
Norma was substituted for it ; it was however repeated on the 
11th and the 14th, after which Mdlle. Lind was announced to 
appear, on Tuesday the 18th, in La Sonnainbula. In this ever- 
welcome Opera she created so profound a sensation that, when a 
repetition of the performance was announced, the price of the 
boxes rose to fifty, and even eighty thalers, and no places could 
be obtained for less than three thalers,* even in the pit — a price 
which was said, in the German theatrical world, to be absolutely 

The role of "Amina" was always a special favourite with 
Mdlle. Lind. The leading journal thus speaks of one of her later 
appearances in the part : — • 

" She raises the art of singing to a glorious level. Everything 

that the most cultivated vlrtuosa can accomplish she scatters 

amongst us, in richest profusion, in lavish prodigality. The 

first act is the field in which these blossoms more especially 

* That is to say £7 10s., £12, and 9s. in English money. 

1845.] HOMAGE TO WEBEK. 141 

flourish. For the actress it furnishes au opportunity for dis- 
playing the most maidenly gentleness, the most charming n air etc, 
and the merriest laughter of love. Earnestness is reserved for 
the second act, in which dramatic and vocal expression melt 
inseparably into each other. In the third act, in which the sun 
of blessed joy alternates with the darkest clouds of grief, the 
effect rises to its culminating point. Here we see the artist in 
full command of the whole range of many-sided feeling, and 
the rich picture, which is thus illuminated by the dramatic 
completion given to the poem, leaves nothing more to be un- 

We have thought it desirable to insert these long quotations 
from Herr Rellstab's transcendental critiques, since they exactly 
represent the feeling produced by Mdlle. Lind's performances at 
the time they were An-itten. We must remember that, however 
extravagant or " high-floAvn " their language might appear in an 
English critique at the present day, it was not thought " high- 
flown " in German critiques in 1844. Moreover, however glowing 
the phrases, they were but the echo of those that passed from 
mouth to mouth, in the theatre, at the table, in the street, in 
every corner of Berlin in which the discussion of artistic topics 
was possible. Herr Rellstab only gave utterance to the opinions 
that were openly expressed, on every side, by every one capable of 
forming an opinion upon the subject. 

But the long chain of successes suffered a temporary interrup- 

" After appearing twice, in the part of ' Amina,' on the days 
already mentioned," says the Berlin journal, " Mdlle. Lind was 
announced, on the 23rd February, to sing for the fourth time in 
that of ' Euryanthe,' but was seized with sudden indisposition at 
the close of the flrst act, and compelled to omit a considerable 
portion of her role as the Opera proceeded. The audience, how- 
ever, showed the greatest sympathy throughout the evening with 
the beloved artist." 

The indisposition continued for more than a week, to the 
unspeakable disappointment of the public. Dm*ing this trying 
time the patient was overwhelmed with visits of condolence, but 
prudence forbade the admission of more than a few intimate 
friends, and these only at favourable moments. Meyerbeer seems 
to have been unfortunate in his choice of days or hours, and 

142 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vi. 

expressed his disappointment, on Feb. 28, in the following letter, 
originally wi'itten in French : — 

" Berlin, Feb. 28, 1845. 

"My dear Made^ioiselle, 

" Though I have called on yon several times since your 
indisposition, I have not been so fortunate as some of your other 
friends in seeing you. 

" It only remains, therefore, for me to express in writing my 
congratulations and good wishes on the anniversary of joi\vfetr% 
which Madame Reyer tells me occurs to-day, and to beg you at 
the same time kindly to accept these few flowers, modest and pure 
as yourself. 

" But what remains for your friends to wish, to-day, for you 
whom Heaven has so richly endowed ! It has given you that 
great and sympathetic voice which charms and moves all hearts ; 
the fire of genius, which pervades your singing, and your acting ; 
and, in fine, those indelible graces Avhich modesty and candour and 
innocence give only to their favoured ones, and which bring every 
enemy into subjection. 

" One can, therefore, ask nothing more for you from Heaven, 
than relief from those doubts in the power of your talent which 
turn even your days of triumph into days of anxiety ; the 
removal of that indecision and irresolution which throw you into 
such continual agitation ; ajid, finally, the disappearance of that 
diffident temperament, which, rendering you distrustful of the 
source of the sympathies you inspire, may perhaps, in the end, 
deprive you of that most beautiful consolation of human life, 

" But whether Heaven grants you or not this little supplement 
to your other precious qualities, you will always be, for me, 
my dear Mademoiselle, one of the most touching and noble 
characters that I have met with during my long artistic 
wanderings, and one to whom I have vowed for my whole life the 
most profound and sincere admiration and esteem. 

" Your ever devoted, 

" Meyerbeer." 

It will be seen from the closing paragraphs of this most kind 
and sympathetic letter that Meyerbeer, like so many others at this 
period, was sincerely grieved, and even pained, by the diffidence 
for which Mdlle. Lind's character was so remarkable. We shall 
have more to say on this subject hereafter, but at the moment at 
which the above letter was written more than one cause of un- 
easiness was at work of which neither Meyerbeer nor any one else 

1845.] HOMAGE TO WEBER. 143 

in Berlin entertained the slightest snspicion — more than one 
element of anxiety qnite serions enongh to have originated the 
illness which the world, and probably the doctors themselves, mis- 
took for the natural result of over-study and fatigue. 

For instance, the reader will readily understand that, since the 
unhappy moment in which the " Bunn contract " was signed in 
the box of the British Ambassador, Mdlle. Lind had never failed 
to reflect upon it, in secret, even at a time when her mind was 
so fully occupied with her work upon the stage. 

She had, in fact, written to ]\Ir. Bunn, informing him that, for 
reasons which to her appeared quite unanswerable, she found it 
impossible to fulfil the terms of her engagement with him ; and 
l)y a coincidence which it is difficult to believe accidental, her 
letter is dated on Feb. 22 — the day previons to that on which she 
Avas so suddenly taken ill in the middle of the fourth performance 
of Euryanthe. 

For a whole week the indisposition continued, to the equal 
disappointment of the subscribers and the public. Mdlle. Lind 
was, however, able to reappear in La jSonncnnbuIa, on March 2, 
with undiminished powers, and on the 11th made her last appear- 
ance for the season in Norma, on the occasion of her own benefit. 
She speaks of her reason for choosing that Opera, in preference 
to another which had been suggested, in a letter to Madame 
Birch- Pfeiffer : — • 

" Berlin, March 7, 1845. 

" Dear Mother, 

" I hesitate no more. All is settled, and I adhere to 
Norma for my benefit, and sing on Sunday in La Sonnamhula, 
AVhy ? do you ask ? Because I have no time for reflection, and 
I cannot and will not appear before the public in a state of 
uncertainty. So I have begged to be let ofl: Der Freischiltz, and 
to sing the part of ' Agathe ' on my return ; and all has been 
conceded. Only, dearest, kindest, best Fran Mutter, do not be 
angry with me ; but — I am really delighted not to be obliged to 
sing, act, and talk in Ber Fremhutz, on Sunday. Greetings, a 
thousand times (what lovely German !), to the Aunt, and my best- 
beloved little sister, and two tickets for Nanni, from 

'' Your heartily devoted, 

" Jenny." * 

* This, and all other letters written by Mdlle. Lind to Madame Birch- 
Pfeifi'er, are printed by the kind perruission of Fiau yon Hillern, Madame 
Birch-Pfeififer's daughter. 

1-1-i JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vi. 

The announcement of this was followed by so frantic a demand 
for places that, long before the performance took place, it was 
found necessary to issue an official notice to the effect that no 
more tickets could be given out ; and it was agreed on all hands 
that on the evening itself she surpassed herself in the part she 
had already made so famous. 

" The artist reached, at the close of her performance," says the 
Berlin journal, " the highest triumph that had been yet attained. 
The stage was covered with flowers and wreaths thrown from the 
boxes in the proscenium ; even the ladies, carried away by the 
enthusiasm of the moment, heightened the meed of applause with 
eyes, hearts, and hands. The wreath that they gave her was not 
of laurel, but of roses ; a sister's gift for the artist, who, among 
the difficulties of her calling, appears as so fit a guardian of the 
Palladium of Womanhood and Purity. As for her thanks, the 
threefold sunmions before the curtain could win no word from 
the firmly closed lips ; but the eye overflowed and blotted out the 
shortcomings of the mouth. 

" The artist appears to-night for the last time. She leaves us 
— but we shall see her again, and we hope in the full possession 
of her gifts ; yes, in fresher, richer unfolding of her spring- 
blossoms ! And may the mild sun of this spring be the omen of 
a Ions:, long continuance ! " 


And with this touching Ai(f Wiedersehen the Berlin public took 
leave of the actress. But the singer was yet again to be heard in 
the Concert-room. 

We have recorded, in a former chapter, the impression produced 
upon the Countess of Westmorland by Mdlle. Lind's singing at a 
reception which took place in the apartments of the Princess of 
Prussia, not long after her arrival in Germany. 

This, however, was not the only concert in which the young 
singer took part during her first visit to Berlin. 

On Thursday, Feb. 13, 1845, she made her first public 
appearance in the Concert-room at a Soiree given by the 
brothers Ganz ; and, if we may accept the verdict pronounced by 
the critics of the day as a fair and unbiassed one, her triumph 
on this occasion was not a whit less brilliant than that which she 
had achieved two months previously at the Opera-House. 

1845.] HOMAGE TO AVEBER. 145 

The same high praise Avas awarded to the accomplished vocalist 
on the occasion of her next appearance, at Herr Nehrlich's 
concert on March 10. 

Of the Conrt-concerts in which she took part about this time 
the journals gave, of course, no published account. 

Apart from the private reception given by the Princess of 
Prussia, and already described, she sang, on Dec. 18, 1844, 
at a Court performance, in memory of which the King and 
Queen presented her with a valuable bracelet. And again, soon 
after the beginning of the new year, she assisted at two more 
Court-concerts — the last of the season. The impression made 
upon the Royal Family by these performances and the personal 
interest taken in her by Queen Elizabeth, were well known in 
Berlin, and it is pleasant to know that the feeling was a lasting 
one and not the result of a mere evanescent burst of artistic 

The actual farewell for the season took place on March 13, 
at a concert given, in the hall of the Sing-Ahademie, in 
aid of the " Asylmn for Blind Soldiers." The room was so 
crowded, that not only was the space usually devoted to the 
orchestra filled by the audience, but it was only with great 
difficulty that room could be found for the soloists and the 
accompanying pianoforte. It is pleasant to find Friiulein Tuczec 
highly praised on this occasion. 

" Every artist," says the journal we have so often quoted, 
" contributed his part with the best possible good will, and thus 
deserved the liveliest thanks of the public. Before all, however, 
these thanks were won by the beloved and modest Singer who 
took leave of us in this concert. She sang the grand air, 
' Rohert^ toi que faime^' from Rohert le DiahJe, with expression 
as intense as her execution was brilliant, and completed the cycle 
of her artistic achievements in our capital city by the performance 
of some of those simple Swedish songs, which overcame us with 
so irresistible a charm. The first — ''Am Aareiisee rauscM der 
vieJ-grilne Wcdd ' — she sang in German ; the two others — one a 
very tender one, dying away in the softest scarcely audible tones 
— in the original Swedish ; so that her last notes seemed already 
vanishing in the distance. 

" Amidst the loud outbreak of applause which followed, place 
was found for a silent sign of acknowledgment. While Mdlle. 
Lind was singing, a lady had deposited a wreath and a garland of 


146 JENNY l.IND. [BK. IV. CH. vi. 

flowers upon the pianoforte. The artist now took them up, with 
a look of eloquent thanks, and, retreating- backwards, greeted the 
audience repeatedly, while the shouts of applause continued until 
she had vanished beyond the last steps of the platform. 

" Many heartfelt blessings accompany her into her retreat, 
where she needs must take with her the rich satisfaction that she 
has done so much and been so thoroughly appreciated." 

And many heartfelt blessings most certainly did accompany 
her, not only from the grateful public, but from dear ones with 
whom she had formed true, and, as later events proved, lasting 
bonds of friendship. 

King Frederick William lY., Queen Elizal)cth, and the various 
members of the Royal Family, behaved to her as true friends, not 
only then, but in after years also. 

By Lord and Lady Westmorland she was never forgotten, and 
among the members of their family her memory is still held 

She has told us, in her o^^^l words, of her pleasant intercourse 
with the aged poet Tieck, and the innocent little family party 
at Frau Bettina von Arnim's. Madame Eeyer and her sister. 
Baroness von Ridderstolpe, were kind and home-like friends : 
and through their acquaintance with the family of Herr von 
Waldenburg, a gentleman of position in Berlin, she was first 
introduced to the well-known sculptor. Professor Ludwig Wich- 
mann, who, with his wife and family, received her, a little later 
on, into bonds of closest intimacy. Professor and Madame 
"Wichmann had been delighted with Norma, and had begged 
Madame von Waldenburg to bring her to their house, in the 
Hasenheger Strasse, which was then a favourite resort for artists 
and persons of culture ; and this first interview led to the 
formation of so intimate a friendship between herself and 
Madame Wichmann that their affection for each other never 
afterwards cooled for a moment. The reader will not have 
forgotten that it was at Professor Wichmann's house that she 
first met Mendelssohn on Oct. 21, 1844 ; and here also, 
in March, 1845, she met for the first time Herr Heinrich 
Brockhaus, the then head of the great publishing firm of that 
name in Leipzig, a man of high cultivation and great influence, 
of whom we shall have occasion to speak again. 

But, notwithstanding the sympathy she met with on every side, 

1845.] HOMAGE TO AVEBER. 147 

the great artist seems — if we may trust Herr Josephson's opinion 
—to have been rather dazed than rejoiced, rather bewildered than 
delighted, with her almost miraculous success. He speaks with 
evident anxiety of the sudden transitions of her moods. 

" She is oscillating," he says, " between heaven and earth, not 
knowing, as yet, on what terms she is with either." 

This state of mind may perhaps be partly accounted for by 
the home-sickness to which, as we have known from the very 
beginning of her wanderings, she was so constantly subject. 

She herself jiLstifies us in arriving at this conclusion in a letter 
written to her guardian. Judge Munthe, just before the first 
performance of Eurijantlie : — 

" Everybody is so kind to me," she says, " that it is only 
through my unbounded love for home that, in the midst of all 
these splendours, my whole soul goes out, all the same, in longing 
for Sweden. There is an inexplicable home-sympathy in the 
depths of my soul, and I look upon its possession as an unspeak- 
able happiness ; for to feel so warmly as this for one's country is 
a divinely elevating sentiment." 

Surely this is a sigh of longing — not of bewilderment. And 
surely this, added to the ceaseless worry of the Bunn-contract, 
may have done a good deal towards producing the " oscillation " 
that gave Herr Josephson so much concern, and may, possibly, 
furnish a key to the mysteries of changing hiunour which seemed 
to puzzle him so cruelly. 

Let us bear this last sad sigh for home carefully in mind, 
while we take leave, for a time, of the turmoil of Berlin, and 
accompany her on a tour which certainly brought her nearer to 
her beloved Sweden. 

148 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vii. 



Ox Thiu'sday, March 13, 1845, as we have akeady heard, Mdlle. 
Lind's last notes died softly away in Berlin at a concert given 
for the benefit of the " Hospital for Blind Soldiers." 

On Wednesday, March 19, she made her first appearance 
at the Court Theatre at Hanover in her favourite character of 

We do not propose, during the rapid transitions from city to 
city upon which we are now entering, to dilate in detail upon 
performances which have already been sufficiently criticised at 
Berlin. It will suffice therefore for the present if we say that 
the now famous songstress was received by the public with 
enthusiastic plaudits, and at Court with a kindly consideration 
which, during the reign of the succeeding King and Queen, 
ripened into undisguised attachment on both sides. From first 
to last, her visits to the Hanoverian Court were always pleasant 
ones, and she always spoke of them with affectionate remem- 

On leaving Hanover, she proceeded at once to Hamburg, 
where, on March 20, she made her first appearance at the Stadt 
Theater, in the Opera in which she had already won so many 
well-earned laurels for Bellini as well as for herself. 

During this visit she sang in Norma five times, including 
her own benefit, on Tuesday, May G ; five times in La 
Sonnambida ; twice in Lucia lU Lammermoor (for the first time 
in Germany) ; and once (also for the first time out of Stockholm) 
in Der FreiscJiiitz. 

She also assisted on April 14 at a concert in Altona, at 
which she sang the aria from Pacini's Niohe, in which she had 
created a profound sensation in Berlin, and her own favourite 
Swedish melodies. On April 21 she sang the same pieces at 

1845.] AT HOME ONCE MOEE. 149 

a concert giveu by Herr Kapellmeister Krebs — the father of 
the celebrated pianiste, Friiulein Marie Krebs. On the 25th she 
sang at the Court Theatre of Schwerin, in Norma, followed by 
La Sonnamlula on the 28th, after which she immediately 
resumed her duties in Hamburg, as above described, concluding 
with the "benefit" on May G. And, after this last perfor- 
mance, a serenade was sung to her, in front of her hotel — 
the old " Stadt London " — accompanied by a torch-light proces- 
sion, a display of fireworks on the Alster, and other demonstra- 
tions, which lasted until long past midnight, and converted the 
ovation into quite a popular festival. 

And now, after the anxieties and fatigues of this most trying 
season — trying and fatiguing in direct proportion to its success — 
came the moment of its rich reward. 

On the doors of the Royal Theatre at Stockholm was affixed 
a play-bill announcing that Mdlle. Lind would reappear in her 
native town on May 16, in Norma. 

It needs but little effort of the imagination to picture the joy 
with which the lonely exile — for lonely she had been, even amidst 
the glories of her most splendid triumphs ; lonely, while critics, 
linding conventional terms too weak to express their admiration, 
were exhausting the hendecasyllabic licence of German idiom in 
the fabrication of new^ ones ; lonely, while she stood upon the 
carpet of flowers in Hamburg ; lonely, beyond all loneliness, even 
in company of the devoted friends W'hose affection she returned 
with ten-fold warmth — it needs, w^e say, but little effort to 
imagine the joy with which this lonely exile prepared to stand 
once more upon the boards of the theatre in which she had sung 
and acted as a child, to sing and act, in presence of a Swedish 
audience, in that same part of " Xorma " which she had already 
impersonated upon those very boards no less than thirty times, 
and in which she had in the meantime excited the wonder and 
admiration of the most critically exacting nation in Europe. 

Such joy as that is not to be described in words, and we must 
perforce leave it to the reader's imagination to paint the pleasant 
pictm^e — bearing in mind, however, that it was distinctly a double 

150 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. vii. 

one. The Swedes were as glad to welcome home their great 
national artist as she was to return to them. — as proud of her as 
she was of her country. And not without good cause ! She had 
left Stockholm, the idol of Sweden ; she returned to it, the idol of 
northern Europe. This great fact, which might have been an- 
ticipated from very early times, was made more and more clearly 
apparent, as each successive capital expressed its opinion ; and, 
by the time of which we are now treating, there could be no 
reasonable doubt as to its ultimate acceptation. The Swedes did 
not doubt it, at any rate ; and all Stockholm went forth to greet 
the national heroine, with songs of joy and gladness. 

" Jenny Lind's return to Sweden caused general delight and 
jubilation," says Froken Marie von Stedingk, " and the first 
reception was a very cordial one. The steam-boat, with the 
celebrated artist on board — our ' Northern Nightingale ' — did not 
arrive until midnight ; but, notwithstanding this," the port and 
neighbouring streets were so packed that I could only with diffi- 
culty find a tiny corner for myself and maid on a ship close by. 

" A rocket gave the signal for the liveliest shouts of delight, and 
a boat went out to meet the steam-ship with the most beautiful 
music on board. 

" When the crowd began to disperse I was able to get home 
safely, but without having caught so much as a glimpse of Jenny 
Lind, who probably went straight to her home as quickly as 
possible. Her stay at Berlin, and her progress through Germany, 
had been a long succession of triumphs, and her modesty and 
great eminence combined had won friends for her everyw^here." 

It was the old, old story. Wildest excitement on the one side — 
feverish yearning for retirement on the other. It was the quiet 
of home that the wanderer longed for — not the shouts of the 
admiring multitude. 

During the course of this short visit to Stockholm, she sang 
eighteen times : twice in Norma, twicei in Der Freischiltz, three 
times in La Sonnamhula, twice in Lucia di Lammermoor, once in 
Eossini's LI Turco in Ltalia, and eight times in Donizetti's La 
Figlia del Reggimento. 

One circumstance connected with the last-named Opera, in 
Avhich she appeared for the first time on June 9, we must not 
omit to notice, though its interest is entirely centred in 

1845.] AJ HOME ONCE MORE. 151 

The reader will not have forgotten the " historic fanfare " 
mentioned in onr account of the little Jenny's childhood, how 
delighted she had been when she heard the soldiers playing it in 
the street, or how cleverly she had afterwards imitated it on the 
little old family pianoforte. Military music had always delighted 
her, and the sight of a regiment of soldiers gave her scarcely less 
pleasure in after life than it had done in her infancy. La Figlia 
del Reggimento had therefore a special charm for her, quite apart 
from its claim for consideration as a work of Art, and she threw 
so much spirit into her interpretation of the part of the little 
rivancUere that the Swedish soldiers were wild with enthusiasm 
about it. In a letter to Madanie Birch-Pfeiifer, dated " Stockholm, 
June '2Q), 1845," she describes her eighth and last performance of 
the part, on the previous evening, as a veritable military 
triumph : — 

" I am free," she says, " and I mean to rest myself risrht 

" Yesterday, the performance of Die Tochter des Regiments was 
given entirely for officers and soldiers. The King had invited 
them all, and I was never so much amused in my life. All was 
cheerful and good-hmuoured. The soldiers laughed awfully, and 
applauded me so furiously that I really felt quite sorry for their 
hands. All was enthusiasm, and it all looked splendid. The 
Avhole house was filled with uniforms. It was beautiful indeed ! 

" This evening I am going to sup with my beloved widowed 
Queen — to my unspeakable pleasure, for she is so very gracious 
to me." 

Yes, " beautiful indeed ! " The mischievous little vivandiere 
was evidently as much delighted with the gallant warriors who 
applauded her so furiously as they were with her. What a treat 
the performance must have been ! and how the King must have 
enjoyed it ! 

It was a happy time, and the return to home-life and home- 
scenery inexpressibly refreshing. The first part of the visit was 
indeed too much occupied with professional engagements to 
deserve the character of a holiday ; but after the performances at 
the Opera were over she spent a few weeks in pleasant retirement 
at the country-home of her friends, Herr and Madame von Koch, 
of whom mention has already been made in previous chapters. 
The eventful episode was however broken in upon, for the second 

152 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. yii. 

time within the space of little more twelve months, by a Eoyal 
summons — this time requiring her presence at the Court of 

King Frederick William IV. was preparing to entertain Queen 
Victoria and the Prince Consort, first at Briihl, and afterwards at 
Schloss Stolzenfels, the restored castle on the banks of tlie Rhine ; 
and it was his wish that Mdlle. Lind should add to the interest of 
the festivities by singing to his Royal guests. 

When the time of departure drew near she received some 
touching marks of affection and esteem. 

" The Queen Dowager," says Froken Marie von Stedingk, 
" was exceedingly friendly to her, and gave a little soiree to which 
the Royal Family alone w^ere invited, and at which Jenny sang some 
operatic airs splendidly to a pianoforte accompaniment. 1 prefer, 
however, to hear her on the stage. 

" Before going to the Queen Dowager she came to tea with me, 
in company w-ith the two maids of honour, Lotten Morner and 
Lotten Skjoldebrand ; and we spent together an hour that seemed 
too short to all of us. 

" After this I went to see her several times ; my last visit 
being paid for the purpose of taking her a bracelet sent by the 
Queen Dowager." 

( 153 ) 



The montli of August, 1845, witnessed festivities of unusual 
interest on the banks of the Rhine. 

On Saturday evening, Aug. 9, the Queen and Prince Consort 
started down the river from Woolwich in the Royal yacht Victoria 
and Albert ; and, escorted by the Black Eagle and the Porcujjine^ 
arrived at Antwerp on Sunday evening, en route for Briihl, in 
response to an invitation from King Frederick William lY. and 
the Queen of Prussia. 

The occasion was especially interesting, as this was the first 
time that the Queen of England had visited the Continent since 
her accession to the throne, and the highest legal authorities were 
somewhat cruelly exercised as to the constitutional etiquette of the 
proceeding. In this case, however, fact overpowered theory, and 
on Monday evening the Royal party was received at Briihl by the 
Kiug and Queen of Prussia, and entertained with a grand military 
concert in the brilliantly illuminated courtyard of the Palace, where 
seven hundred performers officiated, beginning the programme 
with God save the Queen and ending with Rule Britannia, 
supplemented by the famous Prussian " tattoo " — a kind of quick 
march, for drums and fifes, composed about the year 1720, duriug 
the reign of King Frederick the Great. 

Her Majesty's visit was designedly coincident with the inaugu- 
ration of the bronze statue erected in honour of Beethoven, which 
was to take place at Bonn on the following day. Accordingly, 
at one o'clock on Tuesday, Aug. 12, the monument was un- 
veiled, amidst the firing of cannon, the flourish of trumpets, 
and the shouts of the multitudes gathered together from every 
quarter, not only of Germany, but of every other music-loving 
nation in Europe, and in the presence, not only of the Royal 
Families of England and Prussia, but of more Royal and Princely 

154 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. viii. 

lovers of xVrt than we have space to mention. And Mdlle. 
Lind was also invited — not to the festival, but to sing privately 
to King Frederick William's Royal and distinguished guests at 
Briihl and the restored old feudal fortress of Stolzenfels on the 

Herr Heinrich Brockhaus, of Leipzig, who, it will be remem- 
bered, had visited Berlin in the month of March, makes the 
following entry in his Diary for Aug. 7 : — 

" (1845. Leipzig, Aug. 7.) Eduard's birthday was celebrated in 
quite an exceptional way ; namely, by the presence of Jenny Lind. 

" She had begged us to take post-tickets for her to Frankfort 
on the Main, as she had been summoned by the King of Prussia 
to Stolzenfels, on the Rhine, where Queen Victoria is to be 
received with great splendour ; and I took this opportunity of 
inviting her to spend with us the few hours between her arrival 
and departure. 

" I met her at the station, and she seemed pleased with my 
invitation. Her Swedish companion, who speaks but little 
German and no French, and Herr Berg, who, I believe, was her 
iirst teacher, came with her, and we spent a few hours very 
pleasantly together. 

" She is still in every respect the dear, sensitive, modest girl 
whom I learned to know in the spring ; and it seems as if the 
usual consequences of the excitement and jubilation that she every- 
where creates pass over her. Art is, to her, a veritable religion, of 
Avhich she is, herself, a pure and chaste priestess. I have known 
but few womanly natures that have made so wholly favourable an 
impression upon me as that of Jenny Lind. 

" We accompanied the travellers to the post-carriage, and our 
farewell was a very hearty one indeed." 

A touching little episode connected with the journey is told in 
a letter written to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer from Frankfort, and 
dated Aug. 10, 1845 :— 

" I have not much to say ; since, as I told you, we spent most 
of our time in the dilujencB. But I had one sorrow. 

" When we left Leipzig the conductor took with him a little 
dog — a Spitz — as they are always obliged to do, for the protection 
of the luggage. The little dog was engaging, and every time we 
came to a station I kissed him, but soon afterwards the poor little 
animal fell under the wheels, and was run over. Ah ! it made 
me so unhappy." 


The English correspondents of the various London journals, 
while giving detailed accounts of the " Beethoven Festival " at 
Bonn, were, of course, necessarily silent on the snbject of the 
l^rivate performances at Court ; but the late Mrs. Grote, in her 
unpublished ' Memoir of the Life of Jenny Lind,' from which we 
have already made more than one valuable quotation, gives the 
following account of the circumstances :— 

" The Queen and Prince and their suite having arrived at the 
Chateau of Brlihl — not far from Bonn — Mademoiselle Lind was 
invited thither, and took part in the musical entertainment offered 
by the Royal host to his guests. 

" An English nobleman * — then Lord Steward of the House- 
hold — who attended the Queen to Briihl, and who related to me 
not long afterwards all that passed there, said that the expectations 
raised in the Royal minds by the reports current in Germany 
respecting Jenny Lind's singing were very high indeed. He 
himself — an amatem' of great experience, and familiarly ac- 
quainted with the stage and its votaries all his life — was rather 
disposed to be prepared for a disappointment. King Leopold of 
Belgium, who was of the party at Brlihl, and aware of My lord 
Liverpool's scepticism, smilingly said to him, ' I expect, that you 
will be satisfied, when you have heard the Lind ; she is something 

" Whilst ' the Lind ' was singing her first air, King Leopold 
amused himself by watching the effect produced upon his English 
friend ; and it was not long before Lord Liverpool, turning his 
head round, made a gestm'e sufficiently expressive to satisfy the 
King that he surrendered. 

" ' It was,' said Lord Liverpool, ' a combination of style, vocal 
skill, and quality of voice, which absolutely took one by storm.' 

" The Queen and Prince Albert were, both of them, enchanted 
with the treat provided for them ; insomuch that the King of 
Prussia pressed Jenny to favour him with a farther visit, at 
►Stolzenfels, another schloss belonging to him, near Coblenz. 
Again Jenny obeyed the Royal mandate, and again Lord Liver- 
pool was captivated by her incomparable powers, as were indeed 
the whole courtly circle there assembled. 

" The Queen of England paid her the most cordial compliments, 
expressing a ' hope of seeing her, one day, in England.' 

" Jenny was very much pleased with the whole week's excursion : 
and being afterwards at lil)erty to follow her own bent, she 
accepted an engagement to perform a couple of nights in Frank- 
* The late Lord Liverpool. 


fort, where the utmost impatience was felt to see and judge one 
who was beginning to make so strong a sensation among the 
whole musical world." 

After the departure of the Eojal party from Stolzenfels, Mdlle. 
Lind descended the Ehine again as far as Cologne, where, on 
Aug. 26, she was serenaded by the company of the theatre, 
who presented her with a poem beginning, ' Wold helierrscht 
Gesanij die Geister I ' beautifully printed on a white satin fillet, 
and addressed to her by " Die Mitglieder des Kolner Stadt- 
theaters, Koln, den 20 August, 1845." 

On the following day she bade farewell to the Rhine Provinces, 
and started on her journey to Frankfort, where she was announced 
to appear, in Nor ma ^ on the 29th. 

It was during this visit to Frankfort that Mdlle. Lind first 
actually met Mr. and Mrs. Grote, of whom she had frequently 
heard, through Madame von Koch, and Mr. Edward Lewin ; and 
the acquaintance thus formed soon ripened into closer intimacy. 
Mrs. Grote offered to do all that lay in her power, when she 
returned to England, to induce Mr. Bunn to rescind his contract, 
though she did not expect to obtain this eminently desirable 
result without to a certain extent indemnifying the manager for 
his disappointment — a condition to which Mdlle. Lind readily 
agreed, "adding," says her friend, "that she would ratify any 
terms which I should deem it desirable to arrange, in the way of 
cUlit, or ' smart-money ' as the old phrase used to be." 

Before leaving Frankfort, on her return to England, Mrs. 
Grote held another confidential communication with her, which 
she thus describes in the MS. sketch already quoted : — • 

" Among the things Jenny said to me during those two days," 
she writes, " one was, that her earnest desire was to have done 
with the Stage, and to retire into private life as speedily as was 
consistent with pecuniary independence. 

" I manifested some surprise at hearing her speak of her 
profession with such dislike. She went on to say that it was the 
Theatre, and the sort of entourage it involved, that was distasteful 
to her : that at the Opera she was liable to be continually intruded 
upon by curious idlers and exposed to many indescribable ennuis : 
that the combined fatigue of acting and singing was exhausting : 
that the exposure to cold coulisses, after exertions on the stage in 
a heated atmosphere, was trying to the chest : the labour of 


rehearsals, tiresome to a degree : and that, altogether, she longed 
for the time to arrive when she would be rich enough to do with- 
out the Theatre — adding, ' My wants are few — my tastes simple — 
a small income would content me.' She would sing occasionally, 
she said, both for charity and for her friends, as well as for the 
undying love she felt for the musical Art ; but not act, if she 
could help it. 

" I mention this to prove how consistent her language was all 
through the subsequent phases of her artist-life. I must also say 
that her modesty and distrust of her own powers, at this period, 
showed me that she cherished a lofty standard of ideal excellence, 
and was far from thinking herself what every one who heard her 
thought her — a singer of the highest order." 

This however was certainly the opinion of the inhabitants of 
Frankfort, whose enthusiasm was scarcely less remarkable than 
that of the audience at Berlin. 

The engagement at Frankfort was for nine nights, from 
Aug. 29 to Sept. 15, and included three performances of Norma ^ 
four of La Sonnamhula^ one of Ber Freischutz, and one of Ltwia 
cli Lammermoor. The ' Frankfort ' correspondent of one of the 
leading London journals thus speaks of her reception : — • 

" Jenny Lind has a voice of extraordinary compass, the only 
defect in which is a deficiency of volume in the medium register. 
Her upper notes are delicious, as clear as a bell ; and she warbles 
with the facility of a nightingale. Her execution is of the most 
brilliant kind, and nothing can approach the exquisite propriety 
and aptness of her cadenzas. They always come in at the right 
moment : she never sacrifices sense to sound. Her simplicity of 
style is, indeed, most rigid ; but this charming naturalness it is 
which goes so home to the hearts of her hearers. Her shake is 
perfect — truly marvellous — proving that she must have an in- 
tuitive knowledge of her Art as well as the best culture. Her 
style is full of impulse ; or, as the French call it, ahandon. In 
the absence of all stage-trickery or conventionalism may be dis- 
tinguished the child of genius. Her opening Cavatina, in the 
presence of Amina's friends, and her finale, were contrasted with 
the highest skill. In the first was the modest subdued expression 
of joy — in the last, the triumphant outbreak of rapture at being 
restored to El vino. The untiring energy of this last vocal display, 
after two encores, electrified the band as well as the audience. 
Never shall we forget the amazement of the conductor. Professor 
Guhr, a first-rate musician. Throwing away his Uiton, after the 

158 JENXY LIXD. [BK. IV. CH. viii. 

exhibition of this wondrous power on the part of Jenny Lind, he 
clapped his hands fnrionsly over the stage-lamps." 

It was abont this time that a proposal was sent from Vienna, 
by Herr Pokorny, the lessee of the Theater an der "VVien, for 
some performances at that famous Opera-Honse during the 
coming winter. It was a great opportunity, but the idea was not 
at all pleasing to Mdlle. Lind, Avho thus wrote about it to her 
friend, Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, through whom the engagement 
had been offered to her : — 

" Frankfurt-am-Main, 
" 4 Sept. 1845. 

"Bear good Mother Birch, 

" What do you think of me, and my obstinacy ? For 
Heaven's sake do not be angry ! — only let me tell you honestly 
all about it, and then you will quite certainly be — more angry 
than ever ! 

" Everything goes splendidly with me, and even better than 
that ! and yet I have such anxiety about Yienna that I scarcely 
believe I shall dare to go there. They have such excellent singers 
in Yienna ; and what can I do there ? And, besides that, I gain 
just as much money by the journeys I am now making — though 
Yienna is the chief thing, on account of the renown. 

" I have had the privilege of speaking to the Prince and 
Princess Metternich, here in Frankfort, at Baron Rothschild's, 
and they have both advised me to go to Yienna. And yet — only 
think ! — what if I lose my whole reputation ! If I do not please ! 
And this anxiety grows so much upon me ! And all through 
next winter the thought of my first appearance in Yienna will 
follow me like an evil spirit. Ah, yes ! I am very much to be 
pitied ! 

" Tell Herr Pokorny that I am very grateful to him for the 
offered half -receipts and quite satisfied on the score of money ; 
but — that he must engage some other singer ; for he cannot 
reckon on me, as I cannot accept the engagement, and cannot 
believe that I should be able to carry it out in Yienna. Break it 
off, good mother. It is too much for me. This terrible nervous- 
ness destroys everything for me. I sing far less well than I 
should, if it were not for this enemy. I cannot understand how 
it is that everything goes so well with me. People all take me 
by the hand. But all this helps nothing ! Herr Pokorny would 
not be very well pleased, for instance, if I were to sing there once 
only and, that once, fail. For the money he offers me he can 
get singers anywhere who are not so difficult to satisfy as I am, 


and who, at least, wish for something:, while I wish for nothing 
at all ! 

" To-morrow {La Sonnrnnliila) the Queen of England is coming 
to the Theatre, and the King and Queen of Bavaria, and all the 
royalties of Darmstadt ; that is what they believe here — but I do 
not ! Is not that lovely ? " * 

The picture is not a cheerful one. But we shall hear more of 
Vienna later on. 

* See foot-note on p. 143. 

ICO JENNY LIND. [ck. iv. ch. ix. 



The short visit to Frankfort had been a genuine success, but a 
far more brilliant one was at hand. 

After singing two nights at Darmstadt, at raised prices, and to 
crowded houses, Mdlle. Lind prepared to renew her acquaintance 
with the kindred spirits with whom she had entered into so close 
an intellectual communion in the autumn of the year 1843. 

With the delights of her first visit still green in their memory, 
the grateful and appreciative Danes went forth to meet her with 
demonstrations of enthusiastic welcome. 

For the moment their hopes were held in abeyance, under the 
circumstances narrated in the following communication, addressed 
by Herr Schoeltz von Schroeder, the Prussian Envoy at Copen- 
hagen, to His Excellency Graf von Redern, in charge of the 
Hofmusik at Berlin : — 

"YouE Excellency, 

" The feted heroine of the day, Mdlle. Jenny Lind, was 
expected here yesterday by the steam-packet said to be arriving 
from Hamburg. Expectant worshippers without number were 
assembled on the strand ; there was no lack of wreaths and 
flowers ; the poet Andersen had prepared a beautiful ' Welcome ' 
• — but, alas ! all fell through ; and instead of the Singer came 
an apologetic letter, which destroyed all hope of seeing her 


" &c., &c., &c., 
" Schoeltz von Scheoedee. 

" Copenhagen, September 25, 1845." 

" Destroyed all hope " — the writer should have said — " for 
that particular day ; " for she was positively announced to 
appear, three days afterwards, and arrived in ample time to fulfil 
her engagement. Her appearances were necessarily few in 

1845.] WITH THE DANES. 161 

number, for her time was limited, and on one of the apppointed 
nights the theatre was unavoidably closed, on account of her 
indisposition. But her stay was sufficiently prolonged to create 
a profound and lasting impression among all classes of society. 

She sang three times in Xonna, twice in La FiiiJia del Il''(i//I- 
onento, and also at a concert given on Oct. lo at the Court 
Theatre, in the palace at Christiansborg, in aid of the Associa- 
tion for the Rescue of Xeglected Children. 

So great was the success of this charitable entertainment that, 
on the following day, the governors of the Association sent her 
the following gratifying address : — 

" Mademoiselle, 

" During the years that the under-mentioned Association 
has carried on its work, the object of which is the prevention of 
crime through the education of children in need of moral 
training, the aid received from private persons has never repre- 
sented a richer contribution than that for which the Association 
begs permission to express to you its heartfelt thanks. 

" By using the rare talents you possess in such abundance for 
the benefit of the Association, at last night's performance at the 
Court Theatre, you have procured for it an income which will 
render possible a considerable development of its means of doing 

" On leaving Denmark you will take with you the pleasant 
consciousness of having rescued, from dens of vice, many a child, 
who now, through your active charity, will be brought up to a 
useful and virtuous life, the blessings of which will follow you 
wherever you go." 

{Here follows a long list of signatures.) 

" Association for che Eesciie of Neglected Children, 
"October 11, 1845. 

" To Frolcen Jenny Limi:' 


Truly, this was a worthy beginning of the Avork which after- 
wards reached so noble a consummation at Brompton, at 
Norwich, and Manchester, and now evokes a blessing from the 
lips of every loyal and patriotic Swede in Stockholm itself. 

Mdlle. Lind — though she caught a serious cold — was delighted, 
not only with her reception by the Danish public, but by the 
hearty and able co-operation of the artists with whom she was 

162 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. ix. 

associated in her arduous duties. Writiui!^ to Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer, on Oct. 14, she says : — 

" Ah ! people are here more than ordinarily kind to me. The 
ladies of the chorus have decorated my room so beautifully ; and 
the whole orchestra and chorus have been so friendly. On my 
birthday they brought me a Vivat I and a serenade. Ah, yes ! I 
am quite at home here ! 

" But the weather has been frio-htfnlly had ; so stormy that, 
up to this time, I have not dared to venture upon a voyage by 
sea, for several ships have been lost. However, as I am giving 
concerts here to four thousand people — for they have so large a 
room — I have stayed on a few days longer. But — alas ! — I have 
caught a horrible cold ; had to put off the performance the day 
before yesterday ; and feel myself so much knocked up that I can 
only sing in my farewell concert, and dare not risk any more 
singing this month, if I wish to preserve my voice ; and, as I 
shall have to use that voice for another year, 1 have been obliged 
to wiite to Hanover, Bremen, Cassel, and Leipzig, to say that I 
cannot come — to my very great regret, for nothing in the world 
grieves me so much as not being able to keep my promise. 

" It was particularly unfortunate with regard to Hanover, as 
the King had evidently looked forward to it. I have promised 
to go there as soon as my engagement in Berlin expires, and 
my repertoire will then be more extensive. But it would really 
not have been right of me to sing any more now, as I must so 
soon be in Berlin ; for, as you know, blether, I need all my 
strength there." 

But, the remembrance of the artistic tone which had made her 
visit to Copenhagen so thoroughly enjoyable, remained long after 
the cold, and the loss of voice, and the stormy weather, had been 
forgotten. Many years afterwards she wi'ote to Madame Bour- 
nonville : — 

" I shall never forget the joy with which I saug at Copen- 
hagen ; for never since have I found more cultivated artists 

It was a happy time, in spite of the threatened loss of voice ; 
but it owed its brightest charm far less to the applause of a 
genuinely appreciative public than to the atmosphere of poetry 
and high intellectual culture with which the young priestess of 
Art found herself surrounded on every side. Thorwaldsen, 

18io.] WITH THE DANES. 163 

whom she had known on her first visit to Copenhagen, had 
died in the previous year ; but her " brother," Hans Christian 
Andersen— as she deliglited to call him, in obedience to the 
homely Scandinavian custom — was there to greet her with the 
' Welcome ' mentioned in the letter of Herr Schoeltz von 
Schroeder. Qj]hlenschlager wrote a poem also, and Geheimrath 
Jonas Collin. Music was represented by Niels W. Gade, the 
friend of Mendelssohn and Schmnann, and the composer of 
Comala, Im HocMande, and many other works of undoubted 

The two visits to Copenhagen seem to have made a deep 
impression upon the mind of Hans Christian Andersen, for not 
only did he celebrate them in verse, but in the autobiographical 
sketch entitled ' Das Mdrclien meines Lehem^ he speaks of them 
at considerable length and in a very enthusiastic tone indeed. 

" The youthfully-fresh voice," he says, " forced itself into 
every heart. Here reigned Truth and Nature. Everything was 
full of meaning and intelligence. 

" ' Yes, yes,' said she, ' I will exert myself ; I will endeavour ; 
I will be better qualified, when I come to Copenhagen again, 
than I now am.' 

" ' There will not be born, in a whole century, another being 
so gifted as she,' said Mendelssohn, in speaking to me of Jenny 
Lind ; and his words expressed my own full conviction. 

" There is nothing which can dwarf the impression made by 
Jenny Lind's greatness on the stage except her own personal 
character at home. An intelligent and childlike disposition 
here exercises its astonishing power. She is happy — belonging, 
as it were, no longer to the world. A peaceful quiet home is the 
object of her thoughts ; yet she loves Art with her whole soul, 
and feels her vocation in it. A noble, pious disposition like 
hers cannot be spoiled by homage. On one occasion only did 
I hear her express her joy in her talent and in her sense of 
power. It was during her last visit to Copenhagen. Almost 
every evening she appeared, either in Opera or at concerts. 
Every hour w^as in requisition. She heard of a society the object 
of which was to assist unfortunate children and to take them out 
of the hands of their parents by whom they were ill-treated, 
and compelled either to beg or steal, and to place them in other 
and better conditions. Benevolent people subscribed annually 
a small sum each for their support ; nevertheless, the means 
for this excellent purpose were small. 

M 2 

164 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. jx. 

" ' But have I uot still a disengaged evening ? ' said she. 
' Let me give a performance for the benefit of these poor 
children, and we will have doubled prices.' 

"The performance was given, and its proceeds were large. 
When she was told of this, and that by this means a large 
nmnber of poor children would be benefited for several years, 
her countenance beamed and her eyes were filled with tears. 

" ' Is it not beautiful,' she said, ' that I can sing so ? ' 

" I feel towards her as a brother, and I think myself happy 
that I can know, and understand, such a spirit. God give to 
her that peace, that quiet and happiness, that she desires for 

" Through Jenny Lind I first became sensible of the holiness 
of Art. Through her I learned that one must forget one's self 
in the service of the Supreme. No books, no men, have had 
a more ennobling influence upon me as a poet than Jenny Lind ; 
and therefore have I spoken of her so fully and warmly." * 

" She is happy," says the Danish poet, " belonging, as it were, 
no longer to the world." Yet even then the world intruded 
itself into the happiness of the moment, however little the. 
"sensitive young girl" belonged to it. The nest of the 
" Swedish Nightingale " was overshadowed — or, at least, seemed 
to her to l)e so — by a " sable cloud," which obstinately refused 
to " turn forth its silver lining on the night." 

Not even her intercourse with the master-minds, in com- 
munion with whom she spent so many pleasant hours during 
her second visit to Copenhagen, could free Mdlle. Lind from 
the nightmare of her dreadful London engagement. The 
remembrance of it haunted her everywhere, and in the midst 
of her brightest triumphs, oppressed her sensitive and unsophis- 
ticated nature with a quite imreasonable terror, which, as time 
wore on, sensibly undermined her health, and caused her a world 
of unhappiness. 

On Oct. 14 she wrote to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, in a letter 
which has already been partly quoted in an earlier chapter : — 

" What do you say to Mio Buun, who has lately announced 
that I must make my debut at Druiy Lane on the 19th of 
October ! ! otherwise 1 shall have shamefully broken my contract ? 
Ah ! ah ! mother ! More foul weather is in store I But he can 
do me no harm, for I shall never in my life go to London. 

* *Das Marchen mcines Lebens,' von H. C. Andersen (Leipzig, 1880), 


And — is it true ? — have I dreamed it ? — or was not the contract 
sisj^ned with my name only, and his name not appended to it ? 
AVas it not so ? I do not know where that horrid thing- (the 
contract) is. Is it with you ? or is it in Sweden ? In either 
case, give me comfort ! Dear mother, give me comfort, and 
\\Tite to me once more before I return to Berlin, as I shall stay 
a few days in Altona with Madame Arnemann." 

Strange as it may seem, this suspicion as to the omission 
of Mr. Bunn's signature was found to he perfectly justified. 
Why the manager did not append his own name to a document 
so important it is difficult to understand ; but he certainly did 
not append it — at least to the copy left in Mdlle. Lind's posses- 
sion — as we learn from another letter ^vritten by her to the same 
lady, from Xienstiidten, on Oct. 28, 18-1:5 : — 

'• I have, only to-day, found the English contract : and I was 
([uite right — the name of Mr. Bunn is wanting, and therefore, 
I am told, the contract is not valid. Altogether, since I received 
the letter from my good mother, I have been much easier ; 
and I am easier still now, in every way, than I was. And for 
that I have to thank my firm determination to leave the stage. 
JIo/i Dipu ! This happiness will be too much for me." 

AVhile Mdlle. Lind's mind Avas thus agitated by mingled hope 
and fear, Mrs. Grote was doing her best to remove the difficulty, 
by persuading Mr. Bunn to cancel the unhappy " contract," upon 
payment of £500, as forfeit money. But, in the meantime, 
the most unfounded rumours were spread on every side. It is 
douljtful whether Mr. Bunn, even now, gave up all hope of 
securing his prize. One section of the English public, at any 
rate, did not give up all hope of hearing the coveted ])rima 
donna at Drury Lane, while another felt equally certain of 
enjoying that pleasure at Her Majesty's Theatre. For the 
idea that Mdlle. Lind contemplated the acceptance of an 
engagement at the last-named house — which, at that period, 
she most certainly did not — was mentioned everywhere — and, 
of course, after the manner of reports in general, and utterly 
unfounded ones in particular, it was mentioned with the assurance 
that it was absolutely and most incontrovertibly true. Each 
repetition was based on " certain private intelligence " which no 
one but the narrator possessed ; and in process of time the story 

1G6 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. ix. 

was told so well that no oue dreamed of questioning its veracity. 
In all probability it first found utterance in the mysterious 
0)1 dit of some imaginative journalist. But it is quite possible 
that it may have obtained increased consistency from the fact 
that, in the hope of doing the best she could for her friend, Mrs. 
Grote asked advice on the subject from Mr. Lumley — who Avas 
her great friend also. If — as is more than probable — Mr. Bunn 
discovered this, the step between giving advice concerning one 
engagement and proposing another one in its place would have 
seemed to him so microscopically small that, although Mr. 
Lumley did not really propose an engagement for Her Majesty's 
Theatre until long after this, it would have been difficult to 
convince the manager of Drury Lane that no sort of intrigue 
had ever been introduced into the business. For intrigue is 
the natural atmosphere of the Theatre, in England, as on the 
Continent ; and in this case Mdlle. Lind, who was ignorant 
of its simplest rudiments, was accused of being its instigator 
when she was in reality its victim. It was her ignorance 
of the machinations to which the Stage is chronically subject 
that caused her so much needless anxiety. She did not know 
that Mr. Bunn's threats were absolutely nugatory ; that damages 
could no more be claimed from her in Berlin than they could 
be claimed, at this present moment, in Paris, from a French 
composer against whom they had been awarded in England ; 
that she was as safe in Prussia as if the contract had never 
been signed. 

She was as inexperienced in all such matters as a child. Had 
she been less so she would never have written an unfortunate letter 
— dated, "Copenhagen, Oct. 18, 1845" — in which she entreated 
Mr. Bunn, " as a favour," not to consider her signature " as a 
contract," but, " to be generous enough to disengage " her " from 
an unconsidered promise." But she had a reason for this which, 
at the time, seemed to her imperative. She never spoke of it 
to Mrs. Grote ; but, in a subsequent conversation with Mr. Grote, 
she said that she did not at that time possess £500 in the world. 
Mr. Bunn taunted her Avith the "enormous salary" she had 
" accepted at Berlin," yet she assured Mr. Grote that, up to the 
moment of her engagement at Frankfort, her earnings had been 
entirely absorbed by her expenses — including, be it fully under- 
stood, the maintenance of her parents, and her munificent gifts 

1845.] AVITH THE DANES. 167 

to HeiT Joseplisoii ami others — and that cousequcutly she was 
" iu absolute want of pecimiaiy means to fulfil the conditions 
proposed." * 

This, then, was the state of affairs when, in the last week 
of October, 1845, she took leave of her friends at Copenhagen, 
and returned to Berlin to fulfil her renewed engagement at the 
famous Opera- House. 

* Fioni 3Irs. Grote's MS. Memoir. 

1G8 JENNY LIND. [p.k. iv. ch. x. 



The entries in an album kept by Mdlle. Lind at Copenhagen 

extend to Oct. 22, 1845. On the 23rd, or 24th, she quitted 

Denmark and went to stay with her friend Consul Arnemann, 

and his wife and family, at Nienstadten, near Altona ; and on 

the 28th she wrote from thence to Madame Wichmann, the wife 

of the sculptor, at whose house — No. 1, in the Hasenheger (now 

the Feilner) Strasse — she had been invited to spend the coming 

winter at Berlin. 

The letter, written in French, and the first of a long and 

interesting series from which we shall have frequent occasion to 

quote, ran thus : — 

"Nienstadten bei Altoua, 28 Oct. 1845. 

"Dear and amiable Madame Wichmann, 

"I am very grateful for the kind letter which T had the 
honour to receive from you, and more enchanted still to find that 
you retain for me the kindly feeling which makes me so pleased 
and happy. 

" I have been unwell for some time. I caught cold at Copen- 
hagen, and was therefore unable to go either to Hanover or to 
Bremen or anywhere else. It is because of this indisposition that 
I am now staying Avith a very good friend, Madame Arnemann, 
near the town of Altona, where I am getting quite well, and 
resting myself. 

" But in the meantime it is necessary that I should start for 
J>erlin, and it is for this reason, dear Madame, that I take the 
liberty of informing you that I leave this place to-morrow 
morning — or on the ;>()th ; and I expect to be in Berlin on 
the 31st. 

"I go from here to Zelle, and from thence I hope to reach 
Berlin, by railway, in a day. To-day is Monday, and on Friday 
1 hope to have the pleasure of seeing you again. 

" It will be very nice to have my maid there. I only feared, 
Madame, on your account, that it would not be agreeable to you 


to have so many straiig'e faces about you. I hope to find you in 
j^'ood health, and your family also ; and, until then, good-bye, 
dear, good, and kind Madame Wichmann. " * 

The approaching winter season promised to be a brilliant one. 
Mdlle. Lind took part in it for five months, from Nov. 9, 1845, 
to April 2, 1846, during which period she sang twenty-eight times, 
including her own benefit. As her second engagement was, like 
the first, for GastroUen only, there exists among the archives of 
the Opera-House no written contract from which we might ascer- 
tain the amount of the honor ariimi she received. All we know is 
that on Saturday, Nov. 1, 1845, the play-bills, after announcing 
the first performance of Mendelssohn's CEdipiis in Colonos in the 
theatre attached to the New Palace at Potsdam, added, in a foot- 
note, that application for tickets for Mdlle. Lind's first two 
operatic performances would be received on Monday, Nov. 3. On 
Nov. 4 the advertisement was repeated, and on the 5th appeared 
a notice to the effect that no more tickets for the first two per- 
formances remained unsold, though — as during so great a part of 
the former season — the prices were raised, to all parts of the 

The series of GastroUen began on Nov. 9 with Xorma, which 
was repeated on the l:3th ; and the journals of the day criticised 
these revivals with no less enthusiasm and no less minuteness in 
detail than they had imported into their notices of the original 
performances in 1844. The Berlin journal laid great stress on 
the fact that the artist had " learned nothing and forgotten 
nothing." That she had passed through the fiery trial of a 
long succession of triumphs without once yielding to the temp- 
tations with which it is invariably associated, and had returned 
to Berlin bringing back her own lofty ideal in all its original 
purity. We will not, however, follow the critics in their prolonged 
analysis of works already fully discussed, but pass on, at once, to 
the roles produced this season for the first time. 

The first of these was Mozart's // iJon Giovanni — the greatest 

l)y far of his dramatic works — in which she appeared, for the first 

time in Berlin, in the character of " Donna Anna," on Nov. 19, 

repeating the part on the 21st and 25th. 

* This, and all other letters written by Mdlle. Lind to Fran Professor 
Amalia Wichmann, are printed by the kind permission of one of Madame 
AVichmann's sons. 

170 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. x, 

Ou the first occasion on which she undertook the part the 
performance derived an additional interest from the fact that 
it took place on the "name-day" of the Queen, in honour of 
which the Opera was mounted with new scenery of unusual 
splendour. All the artists engaged did good service to the 
general effect ; and the " Zerlina " of Friiulein Tuczec received 
high praise at the hands of the critics. The performance, 
indeed, was an exceptionally fine one in every respect ; and 
the Opera was given five times during the season with ever- 
increasing interest and raised prices of admission. 

The next new Opera was Weber's Ber Frelschiltz. 

To give entire satisfaction to a German audience in this first 
and most famous of Eomantic Operas is no easy matter. The 
work is so thoroughly German, so well known, so deservedly 
popular, and affords so many precious opportunities for the 
display of vocal and histrionic talent, that it is not to be 
wondered at that singers of other than German nationality 
approach it, on the national stage, with a certain amount of 
diffidence ; nor can we feel surprised that, since the part of 
" Agathe " has been so often performed by native singers of the 
highest excellence, a German audience usually listens to its 
impersonation in a frame of mind severely critical and not 
inclined to be easily satisfied. 

The Opera was first produced at the then ncAvly-opened 
Schauspielhaiis in Berlin, on June 18, 1821 — the anni- 
versary of the Battle of "Waterloo — which Weber looked upon 
as a lucky day. The first performance took place under 
nnheard-of difficulties. Spontini, who then held the post of 
General Musical Director to King Frederick William III., was 
strongly prejudiced against it. None of Weber's previous Operas 
had really succeeded ; and his friends trembled for the fate of 
this. At the last rehearsal, everything went ^n-ong. Yet the 
work was received by the public with an enthusiasm which 
bordered upon frenzy, and ever since that eventful night it has 
kept its place on the German Lyi'ic stage with undiminished 
success, and year after year it is received in every German Opera- 
House with a welcome as warm as that which greeted its first 
presentation years ago. The Germans seem, indeed, incapable 
of tiring of it ; and at the Royal Opera-House in Berlin it is 

18:15.] THE JlKTUliX TO BERLIN. 171 

more frequeutlj performed than any other Opera, Don Juan 
alone excepted. 

Mdlle. Lind first impersonated the part of " Agathe " at Berlin 
on Nov. 80, 1845 ; and on Dec. 2 the Berliiusche ZeitiUKj 
contained the following remarks on her performance :— 

" It gives ns more tlian ordinary pleasnre to record that, 
throngli the performance of Jenny Lind, Dpr Freisclnltz has re- 
ceived a new impnlse and a new birth. The whole organism of the 
work is enlivened with the beat of a stronger pnlse. The singer 
began her performance in a modest tone. In the dnet with 
' Aennchen ' she set before us the gentle homely element alone. 
In the grand Aria, later on, the most heart-felt love and the 
tenderest breath of maidenhood were blended together and 
hallowed, l)oth of them, with sincerest piety. The singer was 
not contented with continuing her prayer so long only as it was 
indicated in the music : she retained it in her soul, that it might 
ring forth as a thank-offering even in the ecstasy of love that 
occupied her to the last moment. No singer has ever before 
adhered so closfcly, or with such warmth and clearness, to the 
religious tone with which Weber has coloured this entire scene. 
That it produced an outburst of stormiest applause, which was 
only with difficulty calmed down after it had long delayed the 
progress of the drama, was no more than the natm'al effect of so 
beautiful a performance. 

" In the third act the performance was still happier. In some 
passages in the Prayer her voice seemed to float upAvards, like 
a cloud of incense — a musical glamour with which no other 
singer has ever so enchanted us in this composition. 

" We need scarcely say that at the close shouts and a call 
before the curtain resounded on every side, though after having 
been so deeply moved by truest Art such a conclusion to the 
performance is rarely pleasant." 

If ever critic struck the right note in his analysis, Herr 
Rellstab struck it here. " So dear to her heart was the master- 
j)iece a8 a vliole^^ he says — and he says well. We know, from 
her own words, how dear it was to her. He found it out, from 
the manner of her performance. He did not know, as we do, 
the story of that memorable March 7, in 1838, when she made 
the famous discovery recorded in one of our earlier chajjters — 
the discovery that she had within her the power of striking out 
an original conception, of forming an ideal of her own untinged 

172 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. x. 

l)j the colouriug of other artists, of ideutifyinj^- herself with a 
being of her own creation, of thinking its thoughts, of speaking its 
words, feeling its pains, its agonies of anxiety, its pangs of cruel 
torture, its suspense, its hopes, its consolations, its bursts of rap- 
turous joy. He did not know that she had discovered this — but 
he saw the results of the discovery, and with the instinct of a true 
critic he traced them to their veritable source — saw that it was not 
for its two great songs, but as a whole, that the masterpiece was 
so dear to her— that she had created a real character to illustrate 
the composer's meaning in its entirety, and that in this character 
she thought, and wept, and smiled, and lived, and had her being. 
How could it have been otherwise ? Hoav could she, who loved 
all Nature with so true a love ; she to whom forest, and tree, and 
stream, and mountain spoke with a voice so clear and sweetly 
intelligible that she had never once in her Avhole life misunder- 
stood it : she to whom the voice of the birds was as familiar as 
her own ; how could she have failed to identify herself with 
" Agathe," the Forest Child ? If she had actually lived in the 
himting-lodge, instead of imagining that she lived there, would 
not every bird and beast and butterfly, every wild creature that 
haunted the surrounding forest, have made her its friend ? She 
was herself a Forest Child ; as true a Child of Xature as ever 
lived. And Der Freischiltz was so dear to her, as a ichole, 
because it is essentially the Opera of Nature. Strange as it 
may seem to say so, it is precisely through its marvellous truth 
to Nature that it reaches the supernatural. And all this 
ghastly conflict between the supernatural and the natural is — 
or ought to be, if rightly understood — iuseparaljle from the 
X)art of "Agathe." It forms the key-stone of the entire 
conception ; and it is only when it is fully and frankly asserted 
that Weber's delightful heroine can appear upon the stage 
clothed in the ideal beauty with which he has surrounded her 

And now, after having analysed in detail Mdlle. Lind's ideal 
interpretation of some of the greatest masterpieces of dramatic 
and musical Art, we may be allowed to withdraw our attention 


for a momtjut from the Stage, with its turmoil aud its enchant- 
ment ; the glamour of its poetry on the one side and the dis- 
appointment of its cold illusions on the other, its thunders of 
applause in front of the curtain and its heart-burning cabals and 
conflicts of bitter jealousy and mercenary self-interest behind 
it. "We may leave, for awhile, this strange scene of mingled 
reality and deception, while we turn temporarily aside for the 
piu'pose of refreshing ourselves with some pictures of a different 

We have seen many instances of the calmness with which 
Mdlle. Lind accepted the enthusiastic applause which was so 
freely lavished upon her. But it would be a great mistake to 
infer from this that she was insensible to, or ungrateful for, the 
admiration she excited. The secret of her outward calmness was 
that she accepted it, not for herself, but, in the name of the Art 
of which she herseK was the most fervid worshipper in the 

Her own state of feeling with regard to her position in Berlin 
at this particular period may be satisfactorily gathered from a 
letter written by her to Madame M. Ch. Erikson, an eminent 
Swedish actress, with whom she had long been on terms of 
intimacy, and who died, at the age of sixty-eight, in 1862. 

" Berlin, Nov. 24, 1845. 

"My dear Madame Eriksox, 

" It was with the wildest pleasure and rejoicing that I 
had the honour of receiving your kind letter, and I cannot thank 
you enough for it. 

" I use no empty words when I say that my rejoicing was 
intense, for I had not forgotten that it was you who first guided 
my sensitive young mind towards higher aims, or that it was 
you who saw beneath the surface and fancied that you had dis- 
covered something, overlooked by others, behind those small grey 
insignificant eyes of mine. 

" How changed is everything now ! What a position I have 
now attained I All the musical talent of Europe is, so to 
speak, at my feet. What great things has the Almighty vouch- 
safed to me ! It gives me real pain to lose the inexpressible 
satisfaction of submitting the progress I have made to the 
judgment of one who so well understood me before there was 
any one else who would even believe in my capacity to do 
anything at all — and that one so rare and gifted an artist as 
yourself ! 

174 OENNY LTND. [i?k. iv. ch. x. 

"What a pity it is that we Swedes caiuiot get ou in our own 
country ! No fame ! nothing ! nothing ! 

"What a celebrity you yourself ought to have become, with 
that grace of yours — that charm displayed in every movement 
Avhen you are before the curtain ! What a sensation ought not 
that, in itself, to have produced ! for grace is scarce upon this 

"In seven months only I have succeeded in making my 
reputation here : and, after seven years at home, not a creature 
knew anything at all about me. At this present moment all the 
first engagements in the world are offered to me ! After seven 
months ! Is it not strange ? 

" I have lately appeared in ' Donna Anna ' ; and have every 
reason to be more than satisfied with the reception that was 
accorded to me. The Berlin public is terribly critical. But, 
this I like ; for, if I take pains, I am at least properly appre- 
ciated. They want to analyse my every gesture — every shade of 
expression. Indeed, one has to be careful : but this certainly 
tends to mental cultivation. 

" I am going to sing in Der Freiscliutz and the Die Vestalin ; 
for Operas such as these win the greatest and most solid fame ; 
though such roles are not to be lightly approached. And, more- 
over, I have to sustain no trifling comparisons ; for the moment 
1 step forward I am measured with the Sontag-measure, or that 
of the greatest artists that Germany has produced. 

" Perhaps you think that I have grown vain ? Xo. God 
shield me from that ! I know what I can do. I should be 
very stupid if I did not. But I know, equally well, what I 
cannot do. 

" I have not yet quite made up my mind whether I go to 
Vienna in the spring or not. In the meantime, I wonder 
whether I may venture to tell you that, next autumn, I mean to 
retm'u home quite quietly, and to settle down, caring nothing for 
the world. You will call this a crime. But please to reflect, 
just a little, how difficult it is to stand all this racing about — 
alone ! — alone ! with the certainty of having to rely on my own 
judgment in everything, and yet so absorbed at the same in my 
roles. Oh ! it is not easy. However, we will not talk of this 
just yet. Enough to say that connection with the Stage has no 
attraction for me — that my soul is yearning for rest from all 
these persistent compliments and this persistent adulation. 

" And here I will finish ; assuring you of my sincere affection, 

" And remain, 

" Your grateful pupil, 

" Jexxy Lind." 


It must be confessed that these remarks addressed to Madame 
Erikson accord very well with the expressions used by Mdlle. 
Lind when addressing Mrs. Grote on the same subject some two 
mouths before the foregoing letter was ^Titten. 

But in any case, whether she then seriously contemplated an 
almost immediate retirement from the Stage, or only thought of 
it as a desirable and extremely probable contingency, she made 
the noblest use of the pecuniary advantages she derived from it. 


176 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. cii. xt. 



We have spoken of Mdlle. Lind's offer to assist Herr Josephsou 
in his project of carrying- on his studies in Italy. 

In the month of June, 1845, he wrote, at Vienna, in liis 
Diary : — 

" Through the care of Munthe, Jenny Lind's hommp (V affaires, 
I have received a letter containing a cheque which guarantees my 
going to Italy. And now I am looking hopefully towards the 
south. May it prove of real use ! " 

Mdlle. Lind did not, however, write to him herself until 
the beginning of December, when she sent him the following 
letter : — 

" You poor boy ! so far away in a strange country and for so 
dreadfully long a time, without having heard a word, directly, 
from yom- friend who is now writing to you, and who wishes you 
so well and has so faithfully retained her friendship for you ! 

" Dear good Jacob ! I cannot understand how it is possible 
that I have left you so long without a word. But I have been 
travelling again nearly the whole summer, and have really not 
been able to write. 

" I have received your letters in due course, and hasten to 
answer the last. My money matters are not just now in my 
own hands, and as you need money only at the time of the new 
year, I write this to-day before sending it. But it is coming 

" And now I suppose I must tell you everything about myself. 
In the first place, I am splendidly well. I am enjoying myself 
very much. I am very glad and very grateful for the kind 
treatment we — that is, Louise and I — are receiving at Professor 
Wichmanu's, and we find it very enjoyable there. Furthermore, 
my voice has grown twice as strong as it was — the middle 
register quite clear. My acting is something quite different, 


with much mure vivacity and passion ; stout and broad- 
shouldered, and quite tirst-rate ! If my success was great last 
year, it is now quite furious. I have appeared here as ' Donna 
Anna,' and succeeded well. Yesterday also I appeared, for the 
first time in Berlin, in Der Freiscliutz — and that also went well. 
Now guess what my next part will be ? Die Vestalin. After 
that, ' Alice ' and ' Valentine.' Tithatschek will probably be 
here at the new year. Meyerbeer is still in Paris, but is expected 
here soon. But, Jacob, Mendelssohn is here I I see him almost 
every day at the Wichmanns'. And he is quite an exceptional 
man. Dear ! we are going, the day after to-morrow, to Leipzig. 
Xow, at least, I shall sing at a Gewandhaus Concert under his 
direction ! 

" It is possible that I may go to Vienna next spring. True, 
I feel restrained by nervousness, but the engagement is a good 

" Well I I am quite ready to believe that Italy must be 
beautiful. It would please me well to go there next spring, but I 
must first earn some money." 

It is touching to see the great Artist longing for the beauties 
of Italy, yet deferring the enjoyment of them until she could 
" earn some money," while she was really enabling the young 
student to whom she wrote to i:)rosecute his studies there with 
money she had previously earned. 

It is touching, too, to see how her Artist-nature expands at 
the thought of a closer acquaintance with Mendelssohn — the 
composer whose genius was in closer sympathy with her own than 
that of any other musician then living, — and to mark how she 
revelled in the thought of singing to the accompaniment of the 
orchestra he conducted, well knowing beforehand the delight she 
would feel in being so perfectly and so effectually accompanied. 
None but a really great singer can fully understand the delight 
of singing to such an accompaniment, whether played by the 
orchestra or on the pianoforte, and in this case the vocalist was 
certainly not disappointed. 

In a letter addressed to her guardian. Judge Munthe, on Jan. 12, 
1810, Mdlle. Lind writes: — 

" Felix Mendelssohn comes sometimes to Berlin, and I have 
often been in his company. He is a man, and at the same time 
he has the most supreme talent. Thus should it be." 


178 JENNY JAND. [bk. iv. ch. xi. 

The words are few, but weighty enough in their rehition 
to the social history of Art ; for, taken into consideration 
in connection with the expressions quoted in tlie preceding- 
chapter from her letter to Herr Josephson, they give us direct 
indication of a friendship which, ripening with time, continued, 
with ever-increasing loyalty and warmth, until the moment at 
which the composer of Elijah entered into his rest, on Nov. 4, 
1847 ; a friendship the full value of which can be understood 
by those only who enjoyed the inestimable privilege of friendly 
intercourse, though in ever so humble a degree, with that truly 
remarkable " man ; " a friendship in which the world of Art itself 
was interested. For it is absolutely certain that these two artistic 
spirits exercised a notable influence over each other in all that 
concerned the Art they worshipped ; insomuch that the Elijah 
itself owed something to Mendelssohn's familiarity with her ideal 
treatment of the voice, while her interpretation of his loveliest 
melodies was undoubtedly penetrated with the spirit he infused into 
the harmonies with which he accompanied her on the pianoforte. 

Though residing at this time in Leipzig, Mendelssohn came 
occasionally to Berlin, and had evidently taken such opportunities 
as he could of renewing the acquaintance first formed on Oct. 21, 
1844, at the house of Professor Wichmann. He was engaged, 
that winter, in conducting the famous Gewandhaus Concerts at 
Leipzig, which were then universally acknowledged to be the 
finest in Europe. Under his all-powerful Mto?i they had met with 
unexampled success, and he eagerly seized this opportunity of 
persuading his friend to assist him in his noble work. The 
Intendant of the Opera-House seems to have granted the necessary 
leave of absence without difficulty, and on Dec. 3 — the day 
following the second performance of Eer Freischiitz — the two 
great Artists proceeded together to Leipzig. 

Though the dimensions of this quaint old town were greatly 
inferior, in 1845, to those of which it now boasts, it exercised 
a greater and far more healthy influence upon the development 
of Music than either Berlin or Vienna. The audience, at the 
Gewandhaus, though severely critical, was prone to bursts of 
genuine enthusiasm ; and when the good burghers who dominated 
the society of the town heard of the treat that was in store for 
them, their excitement knew no bounds. Though the prices of 
admission were instantly raised from two-tliirds of a thaler to one 

1815.] AT THE GEWANDHAL>i. 179 

thaler and a third — i.e. from two shillings to four— the tickets were 
all sold off at once, and their lucky possessors were able to command 
any price they liked to ask for them at second-hand. The " free 
list " was stopped, of course, and even the students of the Conser- 
vatoriiun,* who enjoyed prescriptive right of admission, were 
politely told that their prescriptive right would not be recognised 
on the evening of the eighth concert. 

This arbitrary resumption of vested privileges provoked an 
" indignation meeting " at the rooms of one of the offended 
brotherhood, at which it was resolved that a firm but respectful 
protest should be addressed to the most active of the Directors — 
a gentleman of severe aspect, but not, it was hoped, of absolutely 
stony heart. The difficulty was, to find a mouse to bell the cat. 
A victim was, however, selected and sacrificed, and in the course 
of the day he reappeared before the adjom-ned conclave with a 
face which distinctly showed that he had been received with the 
gentle courtesy usually accorded by College dons to students too 
keenly alive to encroachments upon their privileges.! 

The rush for tickets was, in fact, so great that, had the Saal des 
Gewandhauses been four times as large as it really was, it could 
have been filled over and over again. Through the kindness of 
Herr Julius Kistner, the well-known music publisher, the writer, 
maddened with the excitement of the moment, was fortunate 
enough to obtain a seat in the front row, close to the orchestra, 
between the places occupied by the heroic presenter of the protest 
and the late ^Ir. Joseph Ascher, another member of the " Indig- 
nation Committee." The room was crowded to suffocation and 
the audience breathless with suspense. 

Herr Heinrich Brockhaus, in his Diary, describes the events 
of the evening in terms which exactly correspond with our own 
recollection of them : — 

" 1845. Leipzig, Dec. 4. Jenny Lind has fulfilled the 
promise she made, in the summer, to sing at one of the 
subscription-concerts, to my great enjoyment and truly heartfelt 

" Luise J AYi-ote to Fraulein Lind to offer her om* hospitality, 

* Founded by Mendelssohn in 1843, and then flourishing exceedingly 
under his energetic personal superintendence, 
t The " victim " was Herr Otto Goldschmidt. 
X Frau Friedrich Brockhaus, n^e \Yagner ; a sister of Richard Wagner. 

N 2 

180 JEXNY LIND. [wv. IV. CH. XI. 

SO I am actually living" nncler the same roof with our charming; 

" The expectations of the Leipzigers — who pride themselves 
somewhat on their musical taste and are sometimes a little 
hypercritical — were raised very high indeed ; but the first air, from 
Norma, at once won everything for the Singer, and the enthusiasm 
rose higher and higher through a duet with Miss Dolby from 
Romeo and Juliet, through a recitative and air from Don Juan^ 
and, finally, through some songs by Mendelssohn and some 
Swedish national airs, to a quite extraordinary pitch. 
" And with good reason. 

" She is a most extraordinary singer : a musical nature through 
and through ; in full command of the most beautiful means ; and, 
besides that, so penetrated and spiritualised with the singing of 
everything which she renders, that a song sung by her goes 
straight to the heart. 

" Soul and expression, so intimately associated with so beautiful 
a voice and so perfect a method, will never be met with again ; 
the appearance of Fraulein Lind is, therefore, truly unique. 

"And with all that, Avhat noble and beautiful simplicity 
pervades her whole being ! free from all fictitious coquetry, 
though, all the same, she takes delight in the effect she produces. 
One can only 'wonder, and love her. And this affectionate 
appreciation of her is universal — the same with young and old, 
with men and with women. And again, there is something so 
thorough and consistent ; a noble and beautiful nature ; a 
manifestation of the genius of the noblest womanhood and the 
highest art. 

" Who can sing either German or Italian music as she does ? 
Who is so great a mistress of National Song as she ? In the case 
of other singers people are often influenced by a critique, 
and astuteness prides itself upon the discovery of some weak 
point. With Fraulein Lind one rejoices one's self at her success, 
and feels with her until the applause bursts forth." * 

Instead of following up her success by giving a " benefit " on 
her own account, and filling the room to suffocation, as she 
might easily have done at any prices she liked to demand, she 
announced her intention of singing, the next night, at the 
concert which she determined to give in aid of the Orchester- 
Wittw en-Fond — an institution for the maintenance of the widows 
of deceased members of the Gewandhaus Orchestra. 

* From the Tagehiicher von Heinrich Brochhnns. (Leipzig", 1884.) 
Privately printed, for frieuds ouly. 

1845.] AT THE GEWANDIIAU.^. 181 

HeiT Heiurich Brockliaus lias included ii iiiiuuto description 
of this Concert also in his published Diary ; but the account 
given in the unpublished note-book of his youthful son, Edouard, 
is so charmingly unaffected and natui-al, that we insert it in 
preference to the more mature remarks of the elder gentle- 

" On Friday, Dec. 5, the Lind was to sing at a concert for the 
OrcJiester-Witticpn-Fond. E\'ery one was delighted, but I most 
of all, as I hoped that I also might get a chance of hearing her ; 
and, luckily, at dinner-time, mother gave me a ticket, which I 
kept in my hand all the afternoon, for fear of losing it. Tickets 
were very rare just then, and, though they only cost 1 Rthl., 10 
Ngr., I know that some were sold for 3 Kthl., and even 5 Rthl. 
The concert was to begin at half-past six o'clock, and I was at 
the Gewandhaus by half -past five ; it took me, however a good 
quarter of an horn* to get up the few steps leading to the hall. 
For the steps were crammed with people, including many ladies, 
and there was scarcely room to stand, much less to turn round. 
So we moved slowly forwards, and thought ourselves lucky when 
we mounted a single step. The hall was soon so full that not 
another creature could be squeezed in, and many had to stand 
the whole evening in the little room where the li'Jfet is ; but, 
hickily, I got a seat in the third row in the gallery, where I could 
see and hear everything. 

" The Lind first sang the scena and air from Fiijaro^ and I 
can really find no adequate expression to apply to her singing. 
The power of the voice, even in the highest notes, the feeling, 
when she sang imnkdmo^ and, above all, the perfection of her 
execution, cannot be described in words. The shake, and all the 
finer nuancps, soimded so perfectly natm*al, and she sang with 
such life and expression, that she had to hold back continually, 
to keep herself from acting. And the people seemed as if they 
would never leave off applauding. 

"In the second part she sang the well-known scene and air 
from Der Freisdmtz, and here again, from every gesture, one 
could see that it was as much as ever she could do to hold herself 
in check so as not to act it. And the expression she gave to 
every word, and the swelling of the tones and the feeling and the 
execution, were really unsurpassable. 

"After Mendelssohn had played a beautiful solo on the 
pianoforte, in the most masterly style, the Lind sang, last of all, 
three songs. The first was ^lendelssohn's ' Friihlingslied,' and 
the two others extremely original Swedish VoJksh'ffJer. Mendels- 

182 JENNY LIND. [bk. it. ch. xi. 

sohn accompanied them on the pianoforte, and with them the 
Concert came, all too soon, to an end. 

" The Lind had promised to spend the evening witli us, and when 
we got home w^e found everything made ready for her reception. 
As she had begged that no company might be invited, mother 
liad only asked Tante Luise, with the rest of the family, and the 

" About nine o'clock our court-yard was suddenly filled with 
a crowd of people, mostly students, who had come, with torches, 
to serenade the Lind. When a circle had been formed, by 
torch-light, Weber's Jubilee Overture was first played ; then 
a song w^as sung ; and afterwards they sang and played 
alternately. The Lind was quite taken ])y surprise, and kept 
on asking father what she should do and how she should thank 
the people. 

" While she was peeping out of the window there came a pause, 
and a lot of Concert directors, wdth Concertmeister David and 
Dr. Haertel at their head, came into the room, and, in the name 
of the musicians, presented her with a beautiful silver salver, on 
w^hich were engraved the words : — 

" ' To Fraiilein Jenny Lind, from the grateful musicians.* 

" On the salver was placed a beautiful wreath of laurel and 
camellias. It was given to her by the musicians as a mark of 
thankfulness, because she had sung for the institution for the 
benefit of the widows of members of the orchestra. David accom- 
panied the gift with a few words, and the Lind was so surprised 
that she could only look at him while he was speaking, and thank 
him with a silent gestm^e. 

" During all this time I got the champagne ready, and many 
healths were drunk — naturally, hers first of all. Father then 
filled a great tankard and brought it to her, that she might 
first taste it herself, and then send it round to the gentle- 
men ; but she would not do this — why, I cannot imagine. She 
passed it on, however, to David, saying, ' Drink to your own 
health ! ' 

" During the music she stood, for the most part, at the east 
window, in the corner, and listened to it eagerly ; but one could 
see that the crowd of people w^as painful to her. When the 
students had left off singing — there w-ere two hundred singers, 
besides a multitude of others — Mendelssohn led the Lind into 
the coiu-t-yard. I followed her, wath Tante Luise ; and Mendels- 
sohn said that the honourable task of conveying to them 
Friiulein Lind's thanks for this had fallen to his lot, and that 
he fulfilled it with pleasure ; but that, in addition, and in his 


own person as ' Leipziger Musikdirector,' he wished long life to 
Friiulein Lind.* 

" All joined, natnrally, in shouting ' Long life to Friiulein Lind ! ' 
And Ave then tried to get hack into the house, Ijut found it very 
difficult to do so, so closely did the crowd press round, on every 
side, to catch a glimpse of the Lind. 

"In going away, they sang the beautiful 'Waldlied.' The 
gentlemen who had presented the silver platmu then took their 
leave after the Lind had duly thanked them, and the Mendelssohns 
did not stay very much longer. 

"No sooner were the doors closed behind them than she 
embraced mother and Marie, aud all who w^ere standing near her, 
and jumped up like a child. The presence of so many people had 
worried her, and it was not until they were gone that her joy 
broke forth. 

" We now sat round a table and enjoyed ourselves very much. 
The Lind showed us, among other things, her bracelets, two of 
which were particularly beautiful. One, in the form of a serpent, 
was given to her by the late King of Sweden, and the other, which 
Avas very splendid, by the present King of Prussia. At the top 
of this last was a cover, with three real pearls as large as peas ; 
and under this cover, which was made to lift up, Avas a little 
cylinder-Avatch, the size of a four-groschen piece. She looked 
Avith great pleasure at our pictures and engravings, Avhile I held 
the lights for her, and at al)out elcA'cn o'clock she Avent doAvn to 
her apartments." 

The graphic and life-like pictm^e, thus charmingly painted by 
the bright youth of sixteen, forms a fitting conclusion to our 
narrative of Mdlle. Lind's memorable visit to Leipzig. 

She might well have retired to her rooms, tired out Avith fatigue 
and excitement, at elcA'en o'clock ; for on the next day — 
Satm'day, Dec. 6 — she AA'as to return to Berlin, where she was 
announced to reappear, for the fourth time, in Don Juan on the 
following Tuesday. 

* Mendclssolm's exact words — spoken, of course, in German — were : — 

" Gentlemen ! 

" You think that the Kapellmeister Mendelssohn is speaking to you, 

but in that you are mistaken. Fraulein Jenny Lind speaks to you, and 

thanks you for the beautiful surprise that you have prepared for her. But 

now I change myself back again into the Leipzig Kapellmeister, and call 

upon you to wish long life to Fraulein Jenny Lind. Long life to her! and 
again, long life to lier ! and, for the third time, long life ! " 

184 JENNY LIND. [uk. iv. cii. xii. 



On Dec. 80 — that is to say, a little more than three weeks 
after her return from Leipzig — Mdlle. Lind appeared, for the 
first time at Berlin, in a new and very arduous and important 
role — that of " Julia," in Spontini's Opera, Die Vestal) ii — which 
she had previously impersonated six times only, at Stockholm, 
during the whole of her long career — ^probably because it was 
found unsuited to the Swedish popular taste. 

Die Vestalin had long been a very favourite Opera, in Berlin, 
where it had been placed upon the stage with extraordinary 
magnificence, and entirely under the composer's own personal 
direction, when he was invited to the Prussian capital, in the cha- 
racter of General Music Director, by King Friedrich Wilhelm III.. 
in the year 1820. The part of "Julia" had then been sus- 
tained by Madame Milder-Hauptmann, and since then most of 
the great German iirime donne had interpreted it in their tui'n. 
It was therefore no easy task to satisfy a Prussian audience with 
a new conception of the work, and as Mdlle. Lind had intimated 
in her letter to Madame Erikson, her reading of the leading part 
was quite sure to be judged by the measure of all the greatest 
singers who had previously appeared in it. 

The impression the performance produced upon the German 
critics generally may be gathered from the notice which appeared 
in the Berh'nische Zeltung three days after the first per- 
formance : — • 

" A joy," says Herr Rellstab, " and more than a joy — a true 
elevation of the spirit has fallen to the share of the writer at the 
close of his year of critical activity, in that he is able to record an 
artistic achievement, among the most memorable that he himself 
has ever witnessed, and one which has deeply moved, not himself 
alone, but also a large and varied section of the public. 

" Jenny Lind in the part of ' Julia.' 


" Grand memories, ricli in Art, revived themselves within ns in 
connection Avitli the work and with past interpreters of the rolr 
who have attained the sublimest heights ; bnt this time we will 
occupy ourselves less with passing judgment than with giving a 
history of the impressions produced upon us l)y the performance. 

"The first act was over. From first to last the singer had, 
through her womanly and noble bearing, excited the closest 
sympathy. Her acting and singing were everywhere noble, but 
not Avith the victorious effect we expected from her. We there- 
fore awaited the second act with an almost sorrowful depression 
of spirit. 

"Sometimes, however— if we may be permitted to use the 
language of metaphor — a battle which, whether by accident or 
design, may seem to liave begun unfavourably, recovers itself, to 
be crowned with the most glorious and signal victory. And so it 
was in this case. From the very beginning of the act certain 
passages breathed forth, as it were, forecasts of the most fervid, 
the deepest, the grandest feelings that could agitate a loving 
womanly breast. 

" The strife between greatness of soul and holiest faith in the 
might of Love on the one side, and on the other the overpowering- 
recoil of Nature from the fear of death in a form so terrible that 
it might well have crushed the shrinking nerves of the boldest 
man ; this strife, we say, is set before us in such sort that the 
soul scarcely dares to believe what the eye sees. It paints the last 
extremity of horror, and yet the limit of the beautiful is never 
overpassed even by a hair's-breadth. 

"Yet we stand here on the threshold only of the reahn of 
wonder over which our Artist exercises her sway. It seemed to us 
impossible that such an achievement could have been surpassed. 
And yet the third act supplies to our Artist a point of union with 
still higher dramatic impressions. 

" Half hidden ])eneatli the black veil, with difficulty supported 
by two veiled sisters, Julia glides, like a spirit, across the stage ; 
advancing, with faltering step, in the funeral-procession of the 
Yestals, like a shadow from the depths below. It is but a memory 
of life that moves in the procession there ; the horror of death 
holds her already in its freezing thrall. The sound of her voice 
trembles in ghostly whispers upon her lips. Over her pallid face 
flits, from time to time, a faint smile of love, like a dying sunbeam 
— a dream of the long-since vanished past. How can one hope 
to paint, in words, a picture embodying so profound a depth of 
tragic expression ? " 

We cannot but regard this elegant panegyi'ic as the most just as 

180 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xir. 

well as the most important expression of critical opinion that we 
have as yet had occasion to transcribe from the journals of this 
eventful epoch in Mdlle. Lind's artistic career. Those who were 
familiar with her ideal conceptions of the great operatic roles she 
interpreted, when at the zenith of her fame, will find no difficulty 
in understanding Herr Rellstab's disappointment at the effect she 
produced in the first act. It was her invariable custom to reserve 
her great effects, with true artistic self-abnegation, for certain 
points which the unerring instinct of her genius indicated as the 
fittest for the introduction of a logical climax, and to the power 
and perfection of such a climax she unhesitatingly sacrificed an 
indefinite nmnber of those minor effects upon which too many 
artists gifted with less creative power are only too ready to seize 
for the purpose of securing a passing triumph at the expense of 
the logical whole. She kept her dramatic power in reserve, with 
a reticence which none but the greatest artists are ever known 
to exercise, for the predetermined situations in which she felt 
that it could be successfully exhibited with logical consistency and 
deepest reverence for dramatic truth. And Herr Rellstab's con- 
version only proves how just was his judgment on this point 
Avith regard to Spontini's masterpiece. 

And now, the long course of hard work was relieved by a little 
holiday — all too brief. 

We have more than once had occasion to speak of Mdlle. Lind's 
intimacy with Hans Christian Andersen, whom, in accordance 
with the old-world Scandinavian usage, she was accustomed to 
address as her " brother." 

Andersen spent the closing weeks of the year 1845 and the 
beginning of 1846 at Berlin ; and, in his well-known auto- 
biography, the talented Dane tells an amusing little story connected 
with Mdlle. Lind's performances at the Opera at this period. 

" One morning," he says, " as I looked out of my window, 
Unter den Linden, I saw, half hidden under the trees, a man, 
very poorly clad, Avho took a comb from his pocket, arranged his 
hair, smoothed his neck-tie, and dusted his coat with his hand. 
(I well know the shrinking poverty that feels oppressed by its 
shabby clothes.) A moment afterwards there was a knock at my 
door, and the man entered. It was the Nature-Poet, B * * * * '"', 
who, though only a poor tailor, has the true poetical inspiration. 
Rellstab and others in Berlin have mentioned him with honour. 


There is something healthy in his poems, among- ^hich some 
breathe a true religious spirit. He had heard that I was in Berlin 
and had come to visit me. We sat side by side on the sofa, and 
his conversation betokened a contentedness so amiable, a spirit so 
pure and unsullied, that it truly grieved me that I was not rich 
enough to do something for him. I was ashamed to offer the 
little that lay in my poAver ; but, in any case, I was anxious to put 
it in an acceptable form. I asked him, therefore, whether I might 
venture to invite him to hear Jenny Lind. ' I have already heard 
her,' he said, smiling. ' I could not afford to buy a ticket ; so I 
went to the man who provides the " supers " and asked him if I 
could not go on as a " super " one evening in Norma. To this 
he agreed. So I was dressed up as a Eoman soldier, with a long 
sword at my side, and in that guise appeared upon the stage ; and 
I heard her better than any one else, for I stood close beside her. 
Ah ! how she sang ! and how she acted ! I could not stand it : 
it made me weep. But they were furious at that. The manager 
forbade it, and would never permit me to set foot upon the stage 
again — for one must not weep upon the stage.' " 

Soon after this, Andersen took leave of his friends in Berlin 
and proceeded to Weimar on a visit to the Hereditary Grand 
Duke, with whom he was on terms of the most affectionate 
intimacy. And here, again, he spent some happy days in the 
company of Mdlle. Lind, who had also been invited to Weimar, 
and sang there on five evenings, three of which were occupied 
by Com't Concerts and two by performances of Korma and 
La Sonnamlida at the Court Theatre. Here, as in Berlin, her 
performances produced the most profound sensation. The Grand 
Duke and the various members of his Eoyal Highness's family 
received her with demonstrations of the warmest welcome. In 
company with x^Ludersen and his friends, the Chancellor Midler, 
the Court Chamberlain Beaulieu, and the Court Secretary Scholl, 
she visited some of the most interesting places in the neighbour- 
hood, and more especially those consecrated by memories of 
Goethe and Schiller. 

On Jan. 27 — two days after her last performance at Court — 
the Chancellor ^liiller escorted her, in company with Andersen, to 
the Flirstengruft — the burial-vault in the Xeue Kirch-hof, T)eyond 
the Frauenthor, in which, for many generations past, the remains 
of the departed Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and their 
families have been laid to rest— and there showed to the little 


party of frieuds the coffins in which Goethe and Schiller now 
sleep their last long sleep. The dimly-lighted burial-place, and 
the solemn associations connected with it, made a deep impression 
upon the friends ; and amidst its ghostly shadows the Austrian 
poet, Hermann Eollet, who accidentally met the little party in 
the vault, wrote a poem, which Andersen has printed in his 
autobiography, and the original MS. of which was carefully 
preserved by Mdlle. Lind among her mementos of the past. 

The visit to the funeral-vault affected Mdlle. Lind very deeply ; 
and she was evidently glad to relieve the sad impression by more 
cheerful thoughts. In a letter to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, she 
wrote : — • 

" Weimar, Jan. 27, 184G. 

" I have just come out of the vault in which Goethe and 
Schiller lie entombed, and my whole heart is impressed and 

" On Friday afternoon I am going to Leipzig, where I have 
been most kindly invited to the Mendelssohns, for the evening, 
and on Saturday I return to Berlin." 

The memory of this pleasant holiday — for it really was a 
holiday, though not a time of idleness — was very dear to her. 
Soon after her return to Berlin she An'ote thus to her friend Hans 
C. Andersen : — 

"Berlin, Feb. 19, 184G. 

" My dear good Brother ! 

" Thanks for our last meeting. I did so enjoy it ! Do 
you agree Avith me that we have scarcely ever before spent a more 
charming pleasant time together ? 

" I thank you, ever so much, for your beautiful letter. I had 
a good cry over reading it. 

" Yes, yes ! Germany is a glorious country. I certainly do not 
long for any other except the very best — the last one. 

" Oh ! how I have wept over your story about the Grand 
Duchess and her little sweep ! How lovely it is ! 

" In the meantime I am perfectly enchanted with her — and 
with the young Grand Duke and his wife also. Dear Andersen, 
when you write to our high-born friend, tell him — if you 
mention me — that, as long as I live, I shall remember those few 
days I spent in "Weimar. I can conscientiously say that I have 
nowhere else, as yet, found such peace of mind and true joy ; and 
yet I have l)een treated everywhere in the most friendly way. I 


\oY(i these high-born personages ; and, just as you say, Brother, 
not for the stars and the diamonds they wear, but for their true 
and loyal hearts. I get quite enthusiastic when I think of 
these two people. May God preserve them and theirs ! 

"My friends, the Arnemanns, from Altona, have been here. 
They left yesterday. I wonder when we two shall meet again ? 

" I have now quite decided upon going to Vienna. Are you 
not going there, Andersen ? I suppose you go on to Italy 
direct ? 

"Do you knoAv, Andersen, I appreciate your friend Beaulieu 
very highly indeed. I have really begun to feel a great friend- 
shi]) for him. Give him my kindest regards when you write. 

" And now, ac/ifiu ! I must start for the theatre presently, to 
sing in Das Feldlager in Schlesim. God be with you ! Do not 
forget your sister. I shall remain here until the end of March. 
After that, letters will lind me at Vienna, from the middle of April 
until the middle of May. Write, either Poste restante, or care of 
Herr Pokorny — the manager of the theatre. 

" May the blessing of God go witli you ! then you will have 
enough ! 

" I remain, 

" Your true sister, 

" Jexny." 

She was by this time once more hard at work in the dizzy whirl 
of the Berlin winter season. She had reappeared, after her return 
from Weimar, on Feb. 3, in several of her most popular parts ; 
but in the meantime her promised appearance in a new and very 
important role was anxiously awaited by the art-loving public — • 
that of "Valentine," in Meyerbeer's Opera, Les Huguenots — or, 
as it was called in German, Die Hugenotten. 

To the uninitiated, it may seem strange that, taking into 
consideration Meyerbeer's all-powerful position and great popu- 
larity in Berlin at this period. Das Feldlager in ScTdesien should 
have been the only one of his Operas put upon the Stage. But 
the position will not be thought at all strange by those who know 
how severely punctilious Meyerbeer was, not only with regard to 
the principal parts, but with all that concerned the perfection of 
every minutest detail of his works. It was not enough for him 
that the prima donna should be an artist of unapproachable 
excellence. If all the other parts, great and small, were not 
represented to his entire satisfaction he would not allow the piece 
to be put upon the Stage at all. 

190 JENNY IJND. [uk. iv. cii. xir. 

Now, the demands upon the 2^^^'^onneJ of the staff in Les 
Huguenoii^ are very heavy. The part of " Queen Marguerite of 
Navarre " is not written for a seconda donna, but a second lyrima 
donna — a Soprano Jeggiero, as opposed to the Sojnwno dramatico of 
" Valentine." That of " Urbain," the page, needs a Mezzo- 
soprano of high capability. The Tenor — "Eaoul de Nangis," 
and the Basso and Baritono — " Marcel " and " Saint Bris " — need 
representatives of the highest rank. And in face of these demands 
we can scarcely wonder that a man so hard to satisfy as Meyerbeer 
was not too ready to place his second great masterpiece upon 
the Stage. 

It must be supposed, however, that he was satisfied at last, for 
on Fel). 2^, Die Hugenotien was announced for representation, 
with Mdlle. Lind, as we have said, in the part of " Valentine " ; 
and the performance was thus criticised in the journal from which 
we have so frequently and so freely quoted : — 

*' Om' great Artist-visitor, Jenny Lind, has evolved from the 
character of ' Valentine,' in Die Hugenotten — a part as rich in 
dramatic and musical expression — a dramatic creation which, in 
noble individuality, occupies quite as high a position in the 
domain of Lyric Tragedy — as the earlier roles in which the artist 
enchained us with such irresistible power. 

" Before the time of Jenny Lind, the grandest reading of the 
part was decidedly that of Wilhelmina Schroeder-Devi'ient. She 
threw more brilliant lights upon it and invested certain passages 
with a more satisfactory colouring ; as, for instance, at the well- 
known words, ' Ich bin ein Mitdchen das ihn lieljt^ &c. And yet 
the shrinking breath with which our artist lightly veiled this 
expression cast a more delicate fragrance over the deep inward 
glow, and imparted to it a charm wholly its own. 

" But, as was only to be expected of an artist so rich in creative 
power, Jenny Lind also struck out for herself an altogether 
original conception of the impersonation, impressed it in the most 
marked manner upon the character, and filled us with astonish- 
ment at the rich variety of her resources. Her third act was a 
touching prayer to her bitter fate ; her fourth, a mighty battle 
w^aged against it ; her fifth, a splendid victory over it. She sang 
the last scene under truest inspiration of faith. 

"We have always found that the artist penetrates more and 
more deeply into the heart of her task at every repetition, and 
fulfils it with greater ease ; we may therefore in this, as in other 
cases, look forward to even increased perfection. Yet we may 


almost ask, ' What need of more ? ' iu presence of this noblest 
wealth of treasures." 

To sober-minded English readers the style of Herr Ptellstab's 
critiques may seem exaggerated. It must be admitted that their 
tone differs materially from that adopted in England at the present 
day ; but they are of great value to us, as records of a form of 
criticism now — in this country, at least — quite obsolete. Moreover, 
in so far as our present purpose is concerned, they distinctly 
reflect the feeling with Avhich Mdlle. Lind's performances were 
listened to, at the time they were written, by the crowded 
audiences who flocked, night after night, to the Royal Opera- 
House to hear her. The performer concerning whom it was 
simply possible to write in a strain so exalted can have belonged 
to no common order in the Hierarchy of Art. And enough is 
known of the character of Herr Eellstab, and of his position in 
Berlin, to establish the certainty that he honestly meant every 
word he wrote. 

192 JENNY LlNl). [ijk. iv. ch. xiii. 



The first performance of Les Hvguenofs took place on Tliiu'sday, 
Feb. 2G, the second on Snnday, March 1. A thh*d, announced 
for Friday, March G, was prevented by a most unfortunate 
accident ; Mdlle. Lind sprained her foot on the Thursday so 
seriously that for three weeks she was confined to the sofa. 

The kindest sympathy was shown to the sufferer after this 
painful misadventure ; and Mendelssohn, who had been informed 
of the accident, endeavoured, on March 18, to cheer her 
loneliness with a long and delightful letter, half grave, half gay, 
in which the serious and the playful were intermingled with an 
easy grace in which few adepts in the art of letter-writing have 
ever been able to rival him. 

"We print this hitherto unpublished letter, in the belief that it 
cannot fail to prove generally interesting to the reader. 

"Leipzig, March 18, 1846. 

"My dear Frauleix, 

" The account that Taubert brought of the state of your 
health was not so encouraging as I could have wished : * but as I 
used to like, on days such as these, to sit down to the piano, and 
play to you, so now — since, unhappily, I cannot come to you in 
person — I come, at least in writing, and fancy to myself that I ask, 
in the entrance hall, whether I can speak with you, and am told 
— ' yes ' ; and Mademoiselle Louise opens the door for me, and I 
see in your hand one of the ten thousand pictures and engravings 
with which you are now surrounded, and then I sit down beside 
you and begin like this : — 

" Shall I tell you about Marie ? f 

" She talks to me, all day long, about Frilulein Lind, and how 
she was so kind to her ; and Avhen I Avent to the children, 

* Herr Taubert had come to Leipzig, a few days before this, for the 
purpose of playing at one of the Gewaudhaus Concerts, 
t Mendelssohn's eldest daughter. 

1816.] AUF WIEDERSEHEN ! 193 

yesterday, iu the nm-sery, and found little fat Paul * practising 
his writing on a sheet of paper, I saw that he had written ' dear 
Frilnlein find ' over the whole page at least ten times. To-day 
he has finished a whole letter, and he made me promise that I 
would send it to yon — I was absolutely obliged to promise it. 
Marie wanted to send her letter first, but I explained that one 
letter would be enough, and she was satisfied with signing it. 
Karl said he could not sign it as it was not his own letter. 

" A funny thing happ^ened to us this evening. Cecile j said : 
* It is a long time since we have had any Swedish bread ; what 
a pity it is ! ' I said, ' I will write to-day, and ask for some in 
yom- name.' Marie said, 'But Paul has already written to 
Friiulein Lind to-day.' I asked to see the letter — the beautiful 
scrawl I enclose — and, as Paul came in at one door, with his 
letter, the servant brought in your present of Swedish bread at 
the other. 

" The children think of you daily and hourly, and their parents 
also. We long very much indeed to hear soon that you are 
better, and once more free from all the weariness that such a 
long imprisonment brings with it. May you sood send us, please 
God ! an account of your complete cure. 

"To-day we had a very pleasant rehearsal. Taubert con- 
ducted his symphony and made friends of the whole orchestra. 
To us, who are artists, must certainly be conceded one very 
delightful prerogative, in return for which we are willing to give 
up all other prerogatives whatever : viz. that in one short half- 
hour a host of strangers can be transformed into a host of good 
friends. That is a capital state of things, and many would like 
it, though it is given but to few. To my great joy, it was given 
very decidedly indeed to Taubert to-day ; and when he adds to 
this his playing of the Beethoven Concerto to-morrow, he may 
build upon the Leipzig Musicians on both sides. 

" That which is called ' the Public ' is exactly the same here 
as elsewhere and everywhere ; the simple ' Public,' assembled 
together for an instant, so fluctuating, so full of curiosity, so 
devoid of taste, so dependent upon the judgment of the musician 
— the so-called connoisseur. But against this we must set the 
great 'Public,' assembling together year after year, wiser and 
more just than connoisseur and musician, and judging so truly ! 
and feeling so delicately ! 

" A grand new vocal composition by Gade was also rehearsed, 
with full chorus, for performance next week. I hope it will turn 
out both poetical and beautiful. The text is from Ossian ; and 

* Mendelssohn's second son. 
t Madame Mendelssohn. 

194 JENNY LIND. [v.k. iv. cii. xiii. 

Fingal, with his warriors, and harps, and horns, and spirits, plays 
an important part in it. But Taubert will tell you all this much 
better by word of mouth. 

" We also sang to-day, ' Come cow, come calf,' * in such sort 
that it was worthy to have been described as a noble work of Art I 
Taubert sings better than I ; but I pronounce Swedish better 
than he ! 

" You ask how things go with me. 

" On the days when I was so quiet in my room, writing music 
without interruption, and only going out from time to time for a 
walk in the fresh air, they went very well indeed with me — or, at 
least, I thought so. But, since the day before yesterday, when I 
had more to do with the concert affairs and all sorts of corre- 
spondence connected with them, and things of that kind, to which 
I could only give half my attention because my own work lay 
so much nearer to my heart — since then I have been a prey to 
such fatal excitement, and felt so miserably out of spirits, that> 
while every one says, ' How well you look,' f/ou would rather say, 
' What is the matter with you ? ' 

" Happily, however, this is the last week, for this year, during 
which I shall be concerned with these things ; and then I mean 
to work very hard, and after that I shall rejoice in the Rhine and 
the spring-time. 

" Yes ; I rejoice in the thought of the Rhine and the Musical 
Festival, and the real true spring — for, for many days past, I 
have been fearing that the winter would come back again, and 
that the spring would break off altogether, as in my old song in 
your book. And farther on, I, like yom'self, rejoice very much 
indeed in thinking of the time when I shall be able to put aside 
the duty of conducting music and promoting Institutions, and 
quit this so-called 'sphere of activity,' and have no other 
' sphere of activity ' to think of than a quire of blank music- 
paper, and no need to conduct anything that I do not care for, 
and when I shall be altogether independent and free. It will, 
indeed, be a few years before this can take place, but I hope not 
more than that ; and in this we are very much alike. I believe, 
in good truth, that this is because we both have the love of Art 
so deeply implanted in our souls. 

"But, I am fancying that I have been sitting by your side 
quite long enough, and must now take my leave ; or else that it 
is Norma to-night, and that it has already chimed half-past three 
— in short, I must say good-bye. 

*' I hope I may soon hear that you are able to walk, run, 
stand, jump, dance, play at billiards, sing at Ries's Concert, and 
* A Scandinavian Volkslied, afterwards known as The Echo Song. 


play the parts of ' Proserpina ' and ' Valentine,' and that jou 
have become free of all farther enquiries. 
" Your friend, 

" Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." * 

Cheered by pleasant correspondence such as this, and still more 
pleasant intercourse with the choice circle of sympathetic friends 
who enjoyed the privilege of entree to the charmed salon in the 
Hasenheger Strasse, the three long weeks of dreary imprisonment 
passed more lightly than would otherwise have been expected. 
.Vnd they Avere enlivened too, from time to time, by another som'ce 
of interest no less welcome and agreeable. Professor Wichmann 
seized upon this excellent opportunity for securing the " sittings " 
necessary for the modelling of a beautiful medallion-portrait of 
her in profile, designed upon a circular plaque fourteen inches in 
diameter, and eventually executed in white marble. It is a 
charming work of Art, regarded, by all who have seen it, as a 
valuable historical memorial. 

"When modelling this beautiful profile the Professor did not 
know that his guest was herself preparing a welcome sm-prise foi 
the family in anticipation of his idea. 

AVishing to present her host and hostess with a grateful 
memorial of the happy time she had spent beneath their roof, she 
had commissioned Professor Magnus to paint her portrait, on a 
large scale, in order that she might present it to them before 
leaving Berlin. Professor Magnus had accepted the commission, 
and made some progress v/ith the work, when the "sittings" 
were interrupted by the accidental sprain, which for a time 
rendered the needful visits to his studio impossil^le. As soon as 
these could be resumed, he proceeded with his work, and in 
process of time produced a portrait not only valuable as a striking 
likeness of the sitter, but precious also as a work of Art which 
may be fairly accepted as a happy example of the best school 
of portrait-i)ainting then existing in Germany. That Professor 
Magnus himself regarded it in that light is proved by the fact 
that, after it had been presented to Madame Wichmann, and 
treasm-ed for fifteen years as a precious family possession, he 
consented, at the request of Mr. Goldschmidt, to execute 

* This, and other letters published in this work, addressed by Mendelssohn 
to Mdlle. Lind, are translated from the originals, in the possession of Mr. 


196 JENNY LIND. [bk. iv. ch. xiii. 

an exact replka, forming so perfect a reproduction of the 
picture, that the Professor himself found it necessary to attach 
a certain mark to it, in order that he might be able to distin- 
guish the copy from the original. By his desire, and that of the 
Prussian Government, this replica was exhibited, in 18G2, in the 
Prussian Court of the Universal Exhibition at South Kensington, 
as the acknowledged representative of this artist's style at his 
best period — and it fulfilled this intention perfectly and to the 
satisfaction of all concerned. 

The original picture remained in the Wichmann family until 
the year 1877, when the Professor's eldest son, Herr Herrmann 
Wichmann, to whom it had passed by inheritance after his 
mother's death in the previous year, consented to its removal, at 
the price of twelve thousand thalers, to the Berlin National 
Gallery, where, having now become national property, it is 
treasured as a valuable artistic and historical monument. The 
sprain was healed, however, before the picture was finished. 

The public were perhaps more impatient at the duration of the 
imprisonment than the prisoner herself. But it came to an end 
at last ; and, after a term of enforced captivity lasting for twenty- 
four days, Mdlle. Lind reappeared on March 29 in Nonna, 
before an audience who welcomed her return to the Stage with 
every demonstration of uncontrollable enthusiasm — an index of 
public opinion which might indeed, by this time, have been 
expected as a matter of course every time she appeared. 

After this performance — the twenty-sixth in which she had 
taken part during the then current season— she appeared once 
more in Das Feldlager in Schlesien on March 31 ; and on 
Thursday, April 2— her own "benefit-night" — took leave of 
Berlin for the season. 

The house, we need scarcely say, was crowded to the roof, and 
the performance in the highest degree satisfactory. Herr Rellstab 
thus feelingly describes the moment of the final parting : — 

" The call before the curtain, which had already been antici- 
pated at the end of the preceding acts, was renewed at the close 
of the performance, and with such increasing warmth as we have 
never before witnessed in our lives. The entire mass of the 
audience took part in the offering of applause : the profusion of 
flowers seemed inexhaustible. 

846.] AUF WIEDERSEHEN ! 197 

"A burning wish seemed to inspire the multitude — that for 
one farewell word. Mdlle. Lind who, from a sense of shyness, 
combined with the unaccustomed tones of the language, had 
always hitherto expressed her thanks by dumb yet telling 
motions, yielded at last to this well-understood though unspoken 
wish — (for how could it be spoken amidst such a storm of 
applause !), and uttered, with deepest inward emotion, the simple 
and almost inarticulate words, ^Ich danke Ihiien — idt icerde das in 
meinem fjanzen Lehen nicht vergessen ! ' * 

" And again the call was shouted by thousands of voices, and 
yet once again she had no choice to respond to it ; and then, at 
last, the audience was satisfied." 

And thus was the second winter season at Berlin brought to 
an end, with mutual regret and warmest good wishes on either 

* " I thank you — never, in my whole life, shall I forget this ! " 

198 JKNNY LTND. [nK. v. ch. i. 




The engagement at Vienna, vagnely alluded to in the letter to 
Madame Erikson, and more decidedly in that to Herr Josephson, 
was now finally arranged, and on the eve of fulfilment. The 
terms of this contract — five hundred gulden * each, for five 
performances, with an extra benefit night — had been carefully 
discussed, and gladly accepted, by Herr Franz Pokorny, the tln-n 
manager of the Theater an der Wien, during the latter part of 
Mdlle. Lind's stay at Berlin ; and, as soon as she could 
conveniently do so, after the exciting scene at the Eoyal 
Opera-House on the evening of her benefit, she took leave of her 
kind host and hostess, and started, Avith her companion, Mdlle. 
Louise Johansson, for Vienna, rid Leipzig, in which last-named 
town she had been invited to spend a few days, as the guest of 
Herr Heinrich Brockhaus, and had also decided upon giving a 
concert, at the Gewandhaus, on her own account. 

On April 8, 1846, Herr Brockhaus wrote in his Diary :— 

" At home, I found all well, and in high good humour with 
an amiable visitor — Eriiulein Lind — who, early this morning, ful- 
filled a long-standing promise to stay Avith us. 

" I was heartily pleased to see, once more, the amiable and 
unaffected girl, whose natural simplicity is so beautifully united 
to the greatness of the Artist. She was sociable and cheerful 
throughout the evening, which was still farther enlivened by the 
presence of Mendelssohn." 

In a farther entry, on xVpril 0, Herr Brockhaus continues : — 
* Equal to about fifty pounds, in English money. 


" Unhappily, Fraiilein Lind can stay no longer with us, as she 
has met with her friend from Hamburg, with whom she had made 
an appointment. 

" We lunched with her, at ^lendelssohn's, where I also met 
Dr. Emanuel Geibel, whom I had previously seen in Berlin. One 
must like the girl from the very bottom of one's heart. She has 
such a noble and beautiful nature. And yet, she does not feel 
happy. I am convinced that she would gladly exchange all her 
triumphs for simple homely happiness. She sees that, in 
Mendelssohn's house, where the wife and children make his happi- 
ness complete." 

The " friend from Hamburg," by whose arrival Herr 
Brockhaus's arrangements were thus unfortunately interrupted, 
was Madame Arnemann. Mdlle. Lind had stayed in this lady's 
house at Xienstiidten, near Altona, in the autumn of 1845 ; and 
had promised to travel with her as far as Carlsbad, on her way to 
Yienna. She had now come to lieipzig, for the purpose of putting 
her long-cherished design into execution ; and the visit to the 
Brockhaus family was necessarily shortened, in conformity with 
the earlier arrangement. 

But this change of plan did not prevent the welcome visitor 
from thoroughly enjoying her brief stay in Leipzig, or from 
happy intercom-se with her most valued friends there. Among 
other incidents connected with this memorable visit, the domestic 
happiness of Mendelssohn, whose devotion to his wife and family 
were no less remarkable than his artistic talent, made a deep 
impression upon her. She had been ecjually impressed, at Berlin, 
by the charming pictures of home life daily presented to her in 
the family circle at Professor Wichmann's. Of such a life her 
own early experience had taught her nothing. As a child, at 
home, she had never been truly understood ; and, in consequence 
of this, had suffered cruelly from want of sympathy and domestic 
happiness. "Who can wonder, then, at the emotion she felt, when 
witnessing, in other families, the peaceful effect of social relations 
to which her OAvn childhood had been an utter stranger ? She 
alludes to this, in touching terms, in a letter, written about this 
time, to Madame Wichmann : — 

" Leipzig, April (8 ?), 1846. 

"Dearly beloved Amalia, 

" God bless you all, and give you, some day, tenfold the 
good that you have given me ! For, Amalia, I have felt, for the 

2C0 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

first time in my life, as if I had tasted the blessedness of home. 
My heart now clings to you so that nothing else can satisfy me. 

" I am staying with the Brockhauses, and they are all so kind 
and friendly." 

In the meanwhile, the necessary arrangements for the forth- 
coming concert had been satisfactorily completed, under the 
superintendence of Mendelssohn himself. The performance was 
fixed for Sunday, April 12 ; and, as there was to be no 
orchestra, Mendelssohn had undertaken to " preside at the piano- 
forte," as well as to play at least one solo. His friend, Herr 
Ferdinand David, had also promised to contribute a solo on the 
violin ; and, when these details had been finally decided upon, the 
complete programme was issued to the public. 

Xo sooner did the announcement make its appearance in the 
Leipziger TageJjlatt, than the usual rush for tickets began, with a 
vigorous onslaught which exhausted the supply in the course of a 
few hours. The most ardent music-lovers in the town lost not a 
moment in their endeavours to secm-e the best places. It soon 
became evident that, had the room been even much larger than it 
really was, it could easily have been filled, over and over again. 
And it cannot be said that the excitement was extravagant or 
unnatural ; for it would be difficult to recall to memory a concert, 
within the experience of the oldest musical critic now living, in 
which three such artists united their forces for the production of 
so attractive a programme— an entertainment in which there was 
not one single weak point, one single piece falling short of the 
highest level that Art, in the department of " chamber music," 
could reach. 

Madame Clara Schumann {nee Wieck), who was then residing 
in Dresden, came to Leipzig in the course of the afternoon, with 
the intention of taking a seat among the audience. On arriving 
at the railway-station, after her four hours' journey, she drove at 
once to Mendelssohn's house, for the purpose of paying him a visit. 
She found him a little anxious about his share in the duties of the 
evening, which was exceedingly onerous, since, beside his own solos, 
he had accepted the responsibility of accompanying every piece 
in the programme. Thus circumstanced, he begged Madame 
Schumann to add to the interest of the performance by taking- 
part in it herself. She was tired with her journey ; quite 
unprepared to play, and not even provided with a suitable toilette 


for the evening ; but she unhesitatingly consented ; and 
^Mendelssohn well knew that she would prove more than equal to 
the occasion, when the moment for the fulfilment of her promise 

Long before the appointed time, the room was crowded, to its 
remotest corner. The Uneficiaire sang — as she always did, when 
supported by Mendelssohn's matchless accompaniment — her very 
])est. Mendelssohn played Beethoven's ' Sonata in Cf minor,' as 
no one but he could play it ; and, w^hen the point in the programme 
was reached, at which he was expected to play some of his own 
' Lieder okne Worte' he came down to the place in which Madame 
Schumann was seated among the audience, and led her, in her 
travelling dress, to the piano. She was received with an ovation ; 
and played two of the ' Lieder ohne Worfe ' — Nos. I. and IV. in the 
Sixth Book — and a " scherzo " of her own, with an effect which 
could scarcely have been surpassed. The performance concluded, 
in accordance with the previous announcement, with a selection 
of songs, by Mdlle. Lind, accompanied by Mendelssohn, in his 
own inimitable manner ; and the crowd departed in raptures. 

The audience little thought that the concert which had given 
it such unclouded pleasure was fated to be the last but one at 
which Mendelssohn would play, in public, at the Gewandhaus ; or 
that the concluding symphony of ^Idlle. Lind's last song would 
represent (with one exception) his last touch upon the pianoforte, 
in the concert-room which, through his influence, had become so 
justly celebrated.* 

But we must not anticipate the day of sadness. Xo one 
foresaAV it, then ; and, though the audience at the Gewandhaus 
was so soon to bid its last farewell to the beloved composer who 
had so long represented its heart and soul, Mdlle. Lind enjoyed 
the privilege of his friendship for a full year and a half after 
this eventful evening.! 

On the 13th of April — the day after the Concert — Mdlle. Lind 
left Leipzig, in accordance with the arrangement previously 
made with Madame Arnemann, and proceeded, first, to Carlsbad, 

* Mendelssohn's last performance in the Gewandhaus took place on July 19, 
18-16, when he played the pianoforte part of Beethoven's " Kreutzer Sonata " 
<0p. 47) with Ferdinand David. 

t Mendelssohn died on Nov. 4, 1847. Tiie circumstances above related, 
and still remembered by many, are corroborated by entiics made in the 
writer's diarv, at the time. 

202 JEXXY LINl). [bk. v. cu. i. 

wliere she remained until the IGtli. She then took leave of her 
friend, and, accompanied by Mdlle. Louise Johansson, continued 
her journey to Prague ; remained there for one night ; and 
started, the next morning, for Vienna, where she arrived on 
Satm'day, April 18. 

In the meantime, accommodation had been prepared for her, 
at the house of Dr. Yivanot, a physician of some repute, who 
occupied a conveniently-situated residence in one of the prin- 
cipal streets of Vienna — Am Graben. 

The place was a convenient one, in every respect ; and here she 
remained en ]iension, until the termination of her engagement foi' 
the season, perfectly satisfied with the arrangements made for her 
personal comfort ; but she knew no one in Vienna, and, except 
for the prestige of her artistic reputation, had no claim whatever 
upon the good-will of the people among whom she had come to 
reside. Her friends in the North of Germany felt this strongly ; 
and did their best to overcome the difficulty. Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer wrote a letter to a friend in Vienna, which gives so true 
a delineation of her young friend's character that we need no 
apology for introducing it in exfcnw : — 

" On Sunday," she says, " our Angel fled from us : and to- 
day only have I brought myself to introduce her to you by 
this letter. 

" Jenny Lind, indeed, needs no introduction to a lady so truly 
artistic as yourself ; and 1 only venture to give you a few slight 
indications of her northern proclivities, which your own line tact 
would easily have discovered without them. 

" She is reserved, and self-contained ; pure, through and 
through, and sensitive to the last degree ; so strangely tender, 
that she is easily wounded, and thereupon becomes silent, and 
serious, when no reason for it is apparent — and I have long studied 
this marvellous character, and penetrated its profoundest depths. 

" A word will often quickly shut her up in herself ; and I tell 
vou this, in order that you may see how you stand with her. 
When she suddenly becomes dumb to you, you may be certaiii 
that something has wounded her delicate sensibility. She is a 
true Jfimosa, that closes itself at the lightest touch. Do not 
think, from this, that she is intolerable. She is, by nature, a 
truly lovable creature. True, in everything that she does. Do 
not suffer yourself to be misled, by her persistent silence, into 
thinking that she is mns esprit. She speaks little, and thinks 
deeply. ' She is full of perception, and the finest tact — a mixture 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT YIEXXA. 203 

of devotion, and energy, such as you have probably never before 
met with. 

" Free, herself, from the slightest trace of coquetry, she 
regards all coquetry with horror. In short, she stands alone, of 
her kind, from head to foot. 

" I adjure you, tell all your coterifi that Jenny must be 
brilliantly received ; otherwise, she will never forgive me for 
having persuaded her to perform in. so large a theatre, for she 
fears that her voice will not fill it. She stands alone in modesty, 
as in everything else. 

"If you invite her to your house, and she does not sing, 
when first you ask her, let it pass. Do not suffer any one to press 
her ; otherwise, it is possible that she may not come again. This 
has often happened with her, here. She is passionately fond of 
dancing ; and cares but very little for the table. Nothing is 
more hateful to her than sitting long at dinner. 

" Here you have a little confidential description of her person. 
It is weU that you should be forewarned ; for, every genins has 
its own peculiarities." 

" If you wish to make her really happy, invite her companion, 
Louise Johansson, to accompany her to your parties. She is an 
excellent girl, and Jenny looks upon her as a sister. 

" Since she has left me, I have felt as if in my grave. I can 
listen to no singing now. Yon will soon understand why." 

Xo one who really knew Mdlle. Lind will fail to recognise the 
fidelity of this charming portrait ; so conscientiously describing, 
in every well-weighed word, the minutest traits of a character 
which needed so liberal a share of philosophical discernment for 
its successful analysis. That it helped to prepare the way for 
the cordial reception that awaited Mdllc. Lind in Vienna we 
cannot doubt ; and, in order that nothing might be left undone 
which could conduce to that most desirable end, Mendelssohn, on 
his part, foreseeing that she might possibly need the assistance of 
an experienced adviser, should any unfortunate misunderstand- 
ing occur in her dealings with the strangers by whom she was 
surrounded, endeavoured to meet the difficulty by providing her, 
when she left Leipzig, with the following letter to his friend, 
Herr Franz Hauser : * — 

* Herr Franz Hauser was Lorn on the 12tli of February, 1794; and yas 
first known in Cxermany as a bass siuger of exceptional talent. After having 
taught singing, in Vienna, for many years, with great success, he was 
appointed Director of the Conservatoriuni in Munich, and held this post 
from the vear 184G to 1864. 

20-i JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

" Leipzig, April 12, 184G. 

"Dear Friend, 

"These lines will reach jou, through my friend, Jenny 
Lind ; and I beg you, as soon as you receive them, to call upon 
her, and to be as friendly and as useful to her as you possibly can 
during the time of her residence in Vienna. For, I take it for 
granted that it will be with you, as with me ; and that you will 
never be able to look upon her as a stranger, but as one of 
ourselves — a member of that invisible Church,* concerning which 
you write to me sometimes. She pulls at the same rope with all 
of us who are really in earnest about that ; thinks about it ; 
strives for it ; and, if all goes well with her in the world, it is as 
pleasant to me as if it went well with me ; for it helps me, and 
all of us, so well on our road. And to you, as a singer, it must 
be especially delightful to meet, at last, with the union of such 
splendid talents, with such profound study, and such heartfelt 
enthusiasm. But I will say no more. I only ask you to be 
friendly, and helpful to her, whenever and wherever you can ; 
and to let her depend upon you ; and, when she sings for the 
first time, write to me, on the same day, and tell me how it all 
went off ; for it is from you that I particularly wish to hear 
about it. 

" For ever and ever yours, 

"Felix Mendelssohn BARTHOLDY."t 

By a strange fatality Herr Hauser's kind offices were needed 
before Mdlle. Lind had even made her first appearance on the 

The Theater an der Wien, at which she was engaged to sing 
for Herr Franz Pokorny, at the time of which we are now 
treating, was the largest and handsomest Opera-House in Vienna. 
So large did it seem to the timid debutante — still timid, and 
distrustful as ever of her own powers, in spite of her triumphs 
at Berlin — that, when she entered it for the first time, in order to 
take her part in the rehearsal of Norma, she was appalled at the 
sight of its vast circumference ; felt convinced that her voice 
would prove insufficient to fill it ; and, under the influence of an 
utterly causeless terror, refused even to make the attempt. 

* It must be remembered that Mendelssohn looked upon the conscientious 
cultivation of Art as a religious dutj' ; and endeavoured to impress that 
view upon all who were in familiar intercourse with him. 

t Translated, by the kind permission of Herr Joseph Hauser, from the 
oriirinal letter in liis collectiun. 

1S46.] THE DEBUT AT VlENXx\. 205 

Herr Pokuruy was iu despair. He could not understand the 
lady's fears ; nor could she comprehend his remonstrances. 
Fortunately, he remembered having seen her in company with 
Herr Hauser, to whom he sent a hurried message, entreating him 
to come to the rescue, without the loss of a moment. By great good 
fortune, the messenger found Herr Hauser at home. He instantly 
responded to the appeal ; and reached the theatre while Mdlle. 
Lind was still standing on the stage, in an agony of nervousness 
and indecision. As it was impossible to discuss the question, in 
presence of the assembled artists, he led her to the " green-room," 
where he set the case so clearly before her, made her so plainly see 
that her fears would be misunderstood, and her position as an 
artist ruined, that the Viennese would treat the matter as a joke, 
and hold Herr Pokorny responsible for having befooled them — 
spoke, in short, so sensibly and so earnestly, that, with a great 
effort, she overcame her terror, returned to the stage, w^here Herr 
Pokorny was anxiously awaiting her decision, and at once took 
her part in the rehearsal, with every prospect of a successful cUhut 
on the following evening. 

How right Herr Hauser was in his judgment she never forgot ; 
nor did Herr Pokorny ever forget the kindness of his intervention. 
During the whole remaining portion of the season, he reserved a 
box for Herr Hauser at every performance, even when the prices 
were at their highest, and applicants sent away, in crowds, for 
want of room. And this was no small thing ; for never, within 
the memory of the Viennese, had such crowds assembled at the 
theatre, or such prices been demanded for admission. 

The paralysing fear with regard to the size of the house proved, 
we need scarcely say, entirely illusory. Mdlle. Lind's voice was 
sonorous enough to have filled the largest theatre in Europe ; 
and the " Theater an der Wien," spacious as it was, was far from 
being that. The scene, on the evening of the deUit — Wednesday, 
April 22, 184C — ^was simply a rejplica of that which had taken 
place, in Berlin, on Xov. 9 in the previous year. The same Opera 
— Norma — was wisely chosen as the work best calculated to 
produce a favourable effect upon the general public ; and the 
result proved all that could possibly be desired, notwithstanding 
the patent fact that a very unfair share of responsibility was thrown 
upon the debutante. For, except by Herr Staudigl, the represen- 
tative of Oroveso, who was a host in himself, and Demoiselle 

20G JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

Henriette Treffz, who sang the part of " Adalgisa " very charmingly, 
she was by no means worthily supported. Concerning the tenor, 
who took the part of " Pollio " — called " Sever," in the German 
version — the Wiener JIusi7c-Zeih(Hf/ could lind nothing better to 
say, than that " he sang no worse than usual." The chorus sang, 
not only without expression, but incorrectly ; and the orchestra 
fulfilled its functions very inefficiently indeed. At any other time, 
such faults as these would have been very heavily visited indeed 
upon the management of an Opera-House of such high repute as 
the Theater an der Wien ; but, in presence of MdUe. Lind, all 
collateral shortcomings were not only forgiven, but forgotten— if 
even noticed at ah ; and the success of the performance could 
scarcely have been exceeded. Herr August Schmidt, the editor 
of the Wiener AlJgemeine MnsiJc-Zeitun(/—st, journal by no means 
enthusiastically devoted to ]\Idlle. Lind's interests— after saying, 
in one part of his paper — 

"For the initiated in music — those who hsten, not with the 
ear only, but with the soul, and the spirit— the appearance of 
Jenny Lind is an event altogether exceptional ; such as has never 
before been witnessed, and Avill probably never be repeated," 

sums up his critique of JVorma, with the words : — 

" The appearance of Frilulein Lind is of the deepest signifi- 
cance, in all its aspects ; and her achievements in Art deserve, in 
the highest degree, the universal acknowledgment that they have 
received. She is the perfect picture of noblest womanhood ; and 
has, through her artistic aims, and the high perfection of her 
artistic cultivation, united to her great and many-sided talents, 
already won the sympathy of the entire public, on her first 
appearance, in a way in which few other singers have won it 
before her. I count the moments that passed at her debut 
among the most enjoyable artistic pleasures that I have ever 
yet experienced ; and eagerly look forward to her forthcoming 

For her second appearance, on Friday, April 24, Mdlle. Lind 
again selected Norma, the reception of which was, if possible, 
still more enthusiastic than that with which^it had been greeted 


on the cveuing of the lUhuf. The Viennese were delighted with 
the new readiDg of the part, so full of passion and true womanly 
feeling, and so powerfully dramatic in all its varied shades of 
expression. Even the recollections of former triumphs — such as 
those of Mesdames Pasta, and Fodor, and Malibran — were cited 
by old and experienced critics as telling rather in her favour 
than otherwise. 

It is true, there was a strong party against her. Three 
rival irrime donne — Mesdames Stoeckel-Heinefetter, and Hasselt- 
Barth, and Friiulein Anna Zerr — though bitterly jealous of each 
other's triumphs at the " Kiirntnertbor Theater," united their 
forces, in opposition to the rising star, and formed what a certain 
section of the Press called a Kiirntner clique, for the purpose of 
preventing her from singing in Vienna. 

But Mdlle. Lind triumphed over everything. In spite of these 
influences, she created a p)rofound impression, on Wednesday, 
April 29, in Bellini's La Sonnamhida, by her inimitable union 
of the purest vocal method, with acting so touching, that the 
coldest heart could not witness it unmoved. It w^as this alone that 
could explain the secret charm to which none who heard her in 
the part of " Amina " ever failed to yield. The Viennese under- 
stood it at once ; and sympathised with it, as unreservedly as they 
had sympathised with, and thoroughly comprehended, the new 
reading of " Norma." No sooner had they heard and seen, than 
they rose, one and all, to a pitch of enthusiasm in no degree 
inferior to that which had been manifested, night after night, 
at the Royal Opera-House in Berlin. She herself was more than 
satisfied with the reception she met with ; and, on the day after 
her first appearance in Norma, wrote the following account of it 
to Madame Birch-Pf eiffer : — 

" Wien, 23 April, 184G. 

" Dear Feiexd, 

" It is over, at last— thaxk God ! and I hasten, good 
Mother, to describe it to you, though I know that the kind- 
hearted Director, Pokorny, has wiitten all about it to you 

" Well, then ! Yesterday was the all-important day on which 
I appeared here in Norma ; and the good God did not desert me, 
though I deserved it, for my unreasonable nervousness. 

" Do not be angry with me, I beg you ! I can do nothing 

208 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

with regard to that, and I myself suffer enough for it. The 
three days beforehand were dreadful. The idea of turning back 
was ever in my mind ; and I should have done it, if it would not 
liave given offence to so many people. 

" But now, we shall be jolly here, for a little while, and sing 
nine times ; and then we can go on still farther ! 

" But, this Public ! At the close, I w^as called back sixteen 
times, and twelve or fourteen before that. Just count that up ! 
And this reception ! I was quite astounded ! 

" The scdh is considerably smaller than that in Berlin — Ah ! 
but I shall always love my Berlin theatre, and my Berliners, 
immensely ; they have grown into my heart ! Neither the 
Viennese, nor any others, can weaken this impression. 

" How are you all ? A raging headache prevents me from 
writing more. I have not yet been calmed down since yes- 
terday. — Your truly loving 

" Jexxy." 

It is evident that this description of the excitement of the 
Viennese, and the countless calls before the curtain, is not written 
in sportive exaggeration ; for, on the same day, Mdlle. Lind 
wrote a similar account of the circumstances to Mendelssohn, 
from whom, a few days later, she received the following reply : — 

" Leipzig, May 7, 1846. 

" My dear Fraulein, 

"You are indeed a good, and excellent, and very kind 
Fraulein Lind. That is what I wanted to say to you (and I 
have said it often enough, in thought) after receiving your first 
letter from Vienna, written so soon after your opening per- 

" That you wrote to me on the very next day : that you 
knew there was no one to whom it would give greater pleasure 
than to myself ; and, that you found time for it, and let 
nothing hinder you, or hold you back — all this was too good 
and kind of you ! 

" Your description of the first evening, and of the twenty-five 
times you were called before the curtain, &c., &c., reminded me 
of an old letter written to me by my sister, when I was in 
London, a long time ago : and I looked for the old letter until I 
found it. 

" It was the first time that I had left the shelter of the parental 
roof, or had produced anything in public ; and it had gone well, 
and a stone had been lifted from my heart ; and I had written 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT VIENNA. 209 

an account of it all to her. And, thereupon, she answered me 
thus : — 

" There was nothing neAv to her, she said, in all that, for she 
had known it all, quite certainly, beforehand ; she could not, 
therefore, very clearly explain to herself why, in spite of this, it 
had been so very pleasant to her to hear it all confirmed — but it 
was very pleasant, nevertheless. 

" It was precisely so with me, when I received your letter. 
And then, you write so well ! In fact, when I get a letter like 
that from you, it is just exactly as if I saw you, or heard you 
speak. I can see the expression of your face, at every word that 
stands written before me ; and I understand all that took place 
on the first Norma evening at Vienna, almost as well as if I 
had been there. 

" There came also a very pretty description from Hauser ; a 
happier letter than I ever before received from him. And in 
this way you give me so much, and such great pleasure, even in a 
secondary form, through the soul of my friends. 

" But, tell me, now ; how comes it that half the Berlin Opera 
is so suddenly in Vienna, the Kapellmeister included ? Hauser 
wrote to tell me that your Viennese associates in Norma were by 
no means excellent ; so, Botticher and the others could, after all, 
give the Viennese something worth hearing — if only Taubert beat 
time to it ! 

" I really feel, however, more pleasure in the enthusiasm of the 
Viennese, and the twenty-five calls before the curtain, than these 
few lines will perhaps express to you. It is great fun for me, too 
— not because of what people call triumph, or success, or anything 
of that kind, but, because of the succession of pleasant days and 
evenings that it expresses, and the numbers of delighted and 
friendly faces with which you are surrounded. You must tell me 
all about this, very particularly ; or rather, I must worm it out 
of you. 

" You are, undoubtedly, quite right in what you say about 
Vienna, in your second letter. Where, then, is there more than 
a little nucleus that feels anything sincerely, or honestly rejoices 
about anything at all ? 

" How pleased I am that you like Hauser ! He is one who has 
crept very much into my heart ; and for whom I could, at no time, 
or for any reason, feel diminished affection. And, how much 
good has he not done to me ! 

" And now, let me send you a thousand thanks for what you 
have written to me about Antigone. Yes ; I should like to do that 
over again. But, out of this, I must weave the material for a 
new letter, and a consultation with Madame Birch-Pfeiffer — not, 

210 JENNY LIND. [dk. v. ch. i. 

indeed, al)out Ant in one itself, but about somethiug else of tho 
same kind. 

" But, my paper has come to an end. We arc all well, here, 
and think of jou every day. I shall write once more, before long, 
to Vienna ; and then, please God, we shall see each other again, 
on the Rhine, and make a little music together, and talk to eacli 
other a little, and I think I shall enjoy myself a little over it ! 
An revorr, 

" Your friend, 

" Felix Mendelssohx Bartholdy." * 

The allusion to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, in the above letter, is 
connected with an episode of some importance in Mendelssohn's 
Art-life, concerning the details of which the public has never 
been very fully informed. 

It will be remembered that it vras under the superintendence of 
this lady that Mdlle. Lind resumed those studies in the German 
language which had been interrupted, at Dresden, by her recall to 
Stockholm, for the Coronation of King Oscar I. While prose- 
cuting this course of study, she had met with frequent 
opportunities of observing, and appreciating at their true value, 
Madame Birch-Pf eiff er's literary talent and thorough acquaintance 
with what is known, in dramatic circles, as " the business of the 
stage." And this experience led to negotiations, which, though 
they afterwards broke down completely, seemed, at the time, to 
promise very important results indeed. 

During their conversations, Mdlle. Lind and Mendelssohn had 
frequently discussed the possibility of a union of forces, w^hich, 
had it not been interrupted by his early death, would probably 
have exerted a marked effect upon the future of the Musical Drama. 
The scheme was, the production of a serious Opera, for which he 
should compose the music, with special reference to the character 
and scope of Mdlle. Lind's vocal and dramatic talent. The one 
great difficulty with which the project was threatened, was that of 
procuring a really good libretto suitable for the purpose. On this 
point, Mendelssohn was well known to be severely exigeant. But 
])oth he and Mdlle. Lind thought that they had found, in Madame 
Birch-Pfeiffer, a colleague on whom they could thoroughly 
depend ; and, as we shall see, from the following letter — written a 
week later than that just quoted — Mendelssohn was already in 

* See jootnote on p. 195. 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT YIEXXA. 211 

active correspondence with the lady upon this engrossing topic ; 
and, while his friend was gathering new laurels in Vienna, was 
endeavouring to open a still wider field for the exercise of her 
talents in the future. 

" Lcipzi-, May 15, 181G. 

"3Iy dear Frauletx, 

" If I am not mistaken, my last letter to you must have 
seemed very stupid — with absolutely nothing in it. Moreover, I 
fear it will not be very different with the present one ; and that 
the two together will mean no more than just a hearty greeting. 

" You must have been suffering severely from home-sickness ! 
I can see that, plainly enough, from your last letter ; and Hauser 
also wrote something to me about it. But, I hope this has long 
since passed away ; and, that you are again fresh and cheerful, 
and make music, and gladden the hearts of the people by means 
of the many noble gifts with which God has endowed you, and 
which you yourself have now made your own. 

" Will you not, then, sing ' Donna Anna ' at Vienna .^ I have 
long been looking for news of it ; but it has never come. 

" How happy you have again made my dear good Hauser ! 
Such a dehghtful letter came from him, after you had been to 
his house for the second time. And, about this, I am always 
thinking — what if, of all the true joy that you shed around you, 
the brightest rays could fall back upon yourself, and could as 
thoroughly warm and quicken you as you warm and quicken 
others I But this is not to be. And, when we meet again, I will 
show you a passage from Goethe, in which it stands written why 
it is not to be. Yet, how I wish it could be ! 

"You must know, my dear Friiulein, that I have now again 
good hope of coming to a satisfactory arrangement with Madame 
Birch-Pf eiff er. Wehave lately exchanged several letters ; and, as 
it seems to me, she has had a very lucky find, and, out of it, will 
work up a subject that speaks to me strongly, and unites in itself 
a great deal of that which you like so much in Antigone. And yet 
it is not archaic. However, I will not write to you about it, but 
describe it, viva rocp, when we meet again. We have quite given 
up the subject of the Peasant War; and I have no other wish than, 
(1) that the whole idea may please you ; (2) that Madame Birch- 
Pf eiff er may put it together dramatically and truthfully ; and, (3) 
that I may write really good music for it. Apart from these little 
matters, all is in order. 

" I write these stupid letters, because, for the last fortnight, I 
have been kept at home by a very bad cold ; and, still more, 
because I have been working very hard, and without intermission. 

p 2 

212 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

To-morrow, or the clay after to-morrow, the first part of my 
Oratorio * will be quite finished ; and many pieces out of the 
second part are already finished also. This has given me immense 
pleasure during these last weeks. Sometimes, in my room, I have 
jumped up to the ceiling, when it seemed to promise so very well. 
(Indeed, I shall be but too glad if it turns out only half as good 
as it now appears to me.) But I am getting a little confused, 
through writing down, during the last few weeks, the immense 
number of notes that I previously had in my head, and working 
them backwards and forwards upon the paper into a piece, though 
not quite in the proper order, one after another. Would that 
the Opera were already as far ad voiced as this ! I would then 
play some of it to you. But, what if it should not please you at 
all ! — Sometimes it seems to me as if it were an imperative duty 
to compose an Opera for you, and to try how much I could 
accomplish in it — and it is, in fact, a duty. However, it does not 
altogether depend upon me, and it will certainly not be my fault, 
if only the thing be possible. If it were but possible ! Au 

" Ever your friend, 

" Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." f 

It is evident, from passages in this letter, that the difficulties 
in the w^ay of obtaining a satisfactory libretto for the projected 
Opera were very grave indeed. In fact, it is impossible to read 
the correspondence which passed, at this time, between Mendels- 
sohn and Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, without arriving at the 
conclusion that the case was all but hopeless. Mendelssohn's 
ideal was too high to be easily satisfied. Moreover, the search 
for a suitable subject was wearying in the extreme, both to the 
composer and the librettist ; and, though it is clear that Madame 
Birch-Pfeiffer worked at it as hard and as enthusiastically as 
Mendelssohn himself, the results were far from satisfactory. 
She seems to have been strongly in favour of the story of 
Genofeva, as told by Tieck, and, in a different form, by Hebbel ; 
and of this, on May 19, 184G, she furnished Mendelssohn with 
a complete scenario, filled with situations of powerful dramatic 
character, and elaborated with infinite care, guided by the 
experience of a practised dramatic authoress. This was, beyond 
all doubt, the subject Avhich, in his letters of May 7 and 15, 

* Elijah. 

t See footnote on p. 195. 

1846.] THE DEBUT AT VIENNA. 213 

184G, Mendelssohn compared with Antigone, though, iinhke that, 
it was "not archaic." But it was so far from satisfying him, 
that even while these negotiations were pending, he resumed the 
previously rejected story of the BauernhHeg — the " Peasant 
War " of history — in consultation with his friend Edward 
Devrient, and the legend of LoreJey, in conjunction with that 
gentleman and Dr. Geihel. 

All this worried Mdlle. Lind, no less than Mendelssohn. It 
was evident that she was far less happy in Vienna than she had 
been at Berlin ; though she could not close her eyes to the fact 
that her visit to tiie Kaiserstadt had been successfid, beyond the 
wildest expectations of her most sanguine admirers. 

The following passage, from a letter ^vritten to Madame Wich- 
mann nine days after her arrival in Vienna, describes her then 
frame of mind with epigrammatic force : — ■ 

"Hitherto, all has gone here splendidly. I have appeared 
twice in Norma ; and was called so many times before the 
curtain that I was quite exhausted. Bah ! I do not like it. 
Everything should be done in moderation ; otherwise it is not 

And again, yet nine days later, she writes : — 

" Vienna, May 6, 1846. 

" Alskabe, 

" I think of you, daily, and hourly ; and it goes badly 
with me, since I parted from you, my beloved friends. 

" I have been so home-sick, that I scarcely knew whether I 
should live or die ; and so frightfully melancholy, and sad, that 
it is a long long time since I have felt anything like it. Do 
you understand me ? T never felt this anguish wliile I was with 

" But, I am better, now ; and the day before yesterday, 
Taubert came. Ah ! This joyful surprise ! — this reminiscence 
of the past existence !— all now comes so brightly before me ! 

"And, now, I must tell you a little about the theatre, and 
things of that sort. 

" Dearest, dearest lady ! 

" Do you know, I have been placed in the very worst, and the 
most unfavourable circumstances ; and yet, I never had a greater 
triumph ! Just think of this ! 

" To begin with ; Herr Pokorny actually had the rashness to 
demand such frightful prices, that a single reserved seat cost 

214 JENNY LIXD. [mk. v. ch. i. 

eight gulden, and a Ijox forty ! So that, since tlic time of 
Catalani, such a thini,^ has never been heard of : and the public 
were furious about it. 

" Secondly ; with these high prices, Pokorny engaged, for the 
first ten performances, a tenor, at whom everyone laughed. Every- 
thing depended upon me ; so I was made the sacriticc. And all 
this I had to bear, and do penance for. 

" In the third place ; the whole Italian faction Avas opposed 
to me ; and was determined to hiss, if there was the slightest 
thing that could l)e found fault with. Nevertheless, every- 
thing has gone Avell ; and my success is only so much the 

" Taubert is sittiug with me, now, and playing to me ; and 1 
persuade myself that I am with you, and live in quietness and 
peace, and am assured that you all know with what deep and true 
love I cling to you, and how impossible it would be for me ever 
to love you less." 

Though it contains no allusion to the circumstance, this letter 
is proved, by its date, to have been wi'itten exactly a week after 
the first performance of La SonnamMda. This was followed, on 
]\[ay ^,hj Der Freischiitz — an immense success ; and, on the 15th, 
by Die GhWelUnen in Pisa, a German version of Meyerbeer's Les 
Huguenots, the music of which had been tortured into pretended 
association with a new and wholly incongruous Jihretto, the failure 
of which was a real gain to the cause of true Art. Mdlle. Lind 
never sang in it again, and the blame of its cold reception was 
certainly not visited upon her ; for, on May 20 — the night fixed 
for her benefit — she received an ovation, accompanied by circum- 
stances, which, even among the brilliant triumphs to which she 
was now so well accustomed, can only be described as altogether 

On this occasion La Sonnamhida was again chosen, as the 
Opera most likely to please the public, who had been delighted 
with it, on its first presentation, and flocked, in crowds, to hear 
it a second time. Every available seat in the house was filled 
with the elite of the Austrian capital. The noblest represen- 
tatives of Art and Literature, the highest of the nobility, and the 
various members of the Imperial family, assembled, en masse, to 
do honour to the occasion. Each act of the Opera, each scene 
in which the Imeficiaire took part, was received with acclamation ; 
and when the curtain fell, after the last FinaJe, and she was recalled 


Ijefore it, to receive the grateful acknowledgments of the audience 
for the pleasure she had given them, while flowers were falling in 
showers upon the stage, the Empress-Mother dro2:)ped a wreath, 
with her own hand, at Mdlle. Lind's feet. 

Such a favour, involving so bold a departure from the severity 
of Com-t etiquette, had never before been granted, by a member 
of the Imperial family, to any artist of any rank whatever, 
though Vienna had not been slow to acknowledge the claims of 
true genius, or to crown it with well-earned laurels. 

As at Berlin, the audience seemed bent upon obtaining a 
spoken word of farewell ; and, when silence had been obtained, 
Mdlle. Lind came forward, to the foot-lights, and said, in 
German: "Siehaben mich recht verstanden. Ich danke Ihnen 
aus meinem Herzen." * These few heartfelt words were received 
with a shout of sympathetic recognition ; and it was only when 
that had subsided, that the audience, quite overcome with excite- 
ment, consented at last to disperse. 

And, this was not all. 

When, after the performance was over, the heroine of the 
evening prepared to return to her temporary home, A)u Grcthcn^ 
a band of enthusiastic young men unharnessed the horses, and 
Avould have dragged the vehicle, with its occupant, through 
the crowded streets, to the door of Dr. Yivanot's house, had they 
not been prevented from doing so by a detachment of cavalry. 
Fortunately, the military force arrived in time to prevent a 
serious disturljance ; but, even with this protection, the carriage 
Avas escorted to the Graben by a crowd of excited spectators, who 
insisted upon walking by its side ; and, when ]Mdlle. Lind reached 
her hand out of the lowered window, those who were near enough 
rushed up, in the hope of respectfully kissing it. 

Unhappily, the excitement produced a very serious accident. 
The man-servant, Gorgel, either fell, or was accidentally dragged 
from his place behind the carriage, while the enthusiasm was at its 
highest, and so severely crushed, that he was unfit to travel for 
some considerable time, in consequence of which the departure 
from Vienna was seriously delayed, at a time w^hen the hindrance 
proved of the greatest possible inconvenience. 

Mdlle. Lind mentions the circumstance, in a letter addressed to 
Madame Birch-Pfeiffer : — 

* *' You have well understood me. I thank you, from my heart." 

216 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. i. 

" Wien, -23 May, 1846. 

" Dear good Friend, 

" I really do not know whetlier I am dead, or alive — so you 
must just ask the Director, Pokorny, who will, no doubt, tell you 
all about it. 

" It is four o'clock on Saturday morning. Two hours ago, I 
came from Herr Pokorny ; and, think of my horror ! my poor 
Gorgel has been almost crushed to death ! He was brought home 
in a frightful condition ; and it does not look at all well with 
him. I have already postponed my journey four hours later. 
God grant that it may not turn out to be anything dangerous. 

" Except for this, I have spent delightful days here. I have 
never met with such kind people as the Viennese in general. I 
can find no words in which to describe my stay in Vienna. 
Enough ! Thank Heaven for helping me so much ! Yet I have 
had much to fight against, here. Some day, I will tell you all 
about it." 

The style of this letter sufficiently shows the haste and excite- 
ment amidst which it was despatched ; but no surrounding 
circumstances, however trying, could make the writer forget her 
affection for those whom she loved. 

( 217 ) 



Herr Hauser had not forgotten Mendelssohn's wish to be kept av 
courant with regard to the events which took place at the Theater 
an der Wien. He had written more than one account of the 
various occurrences we have described ; and, on the morning after 
the " benefit," he wrote again, giving his friend a brief general 
description of the events of the evening. To the first and second 
of these letters ^Mendelssohn sent the following reply, containing 
much that will interest the reader : — 

"Leipzig, nth May, 1846. 

"My bear Friend, 

" I well knew how pleased you would be with Jenny Lind 
— I never for a moment doubted it ; and I was pleased indeed 
to find, from your letter, that I had not been mistaken, and that 
you had been so truly refreshed and encouraged by an artistic 
nature so splendid and so thoroughly genuine. 

" Tell her that no day passes on which T do not rejoice anew 
that we are both living at the same epoch, and have learned to 
know each other, and are friends, and that her voice sounds so 
joyous, and that she is exactly what she is, and, with that, give 
her my heartiest greetings. 

"And accept my best thanks for your two good letters. I 
should, indeed, have thanked you long ago, had not my time been 
so wholly al)sorbed by music that writing was impossible, for I sit, 
over both my ears, in my Elijnli, and if it only turns out half as 
good as I often think it will, I shall be glad indeed ! The first 
part will be quite finished within the next few days, and a goodly 
portion of the second part also. I like nothing more than to 
spend the whole day in writing the notes down, and I often come 
so late to dinner that the children come to my room to fetch me, 
and drag me out by main force. 

" But, really, I must come some day to Vienna. I hear so 
much said about it, right and left, and you all say such kind things 
about my music, and give me such extraordinary accounts of your 

218 JENNY LIND. [uk. v. ch. ii. 

performances, that you make my moutli water. Perhaps I may 
bring my Elijah, while it is quite new, about the winter-time — 
for, naturally, it cannot be given at Aix-la-Chapelle, since it is 
barely half linished ; or, perhaps I may wait until I have found a 
subject for my Opera, and composed the music — if Jenny Lind is 
still there — and this last would be the best. But, in some way or 
other, I hope to see our Imperial City : and I shall not then make 
my first visit to the tower of S. Stephen's, or to the 8perl, but to 
the Barenmiihle. But perhaps you no longer live there, in which 
case I shall come wherever you do live. 

" But it is getting late, and I must leave off. Do you know 
whether Jenny Lind is going to sing the part of ' Donna Anna ' in 
Vienna ? I should like you to hear it. If she does not sing it, ask 
her to sing the last or the first aria to you in your room ; and, 
when you greet her, from me, tell her that I will write to her this 
week, but she must forgive me if my letter is stupid, for, just now, 
I cannot do anything better. 

" Let me soon hear from you again. What happened at the 
second performance of Antigo7ie ? And how are your sons, and 
vour wife ? Greet them all many times, and continue kind to 

" Thine, 

'' Felix." * 

Herr Hauser's letter of May 21 — the day after the benefit — • 
was, in some sort, an answer to this. He rencAvs the invitation 
to Vienna, though complaining that he is not living so comfortably 
as in his former house in the Barenmiihle. He says that he duly 
reported to Mdlle. Lind Mendelssohn's thankfulness that they 
were both born in the same epoch, and he himself hopes that they 
will all long continue to give thanks to God for so artistic a 
nature — and not without grave reason, for there are some still 
living who thank G od heartily that they were, to a certain extent, 
contemporary with Mendelssohn. 

Mdlle. Lind sang, with her usual success, at Herr Taubert's 
matincp in Streicher's Konzert-Salon on May 10, contributing to 
the progranmie two of Taubert's songs, and a northern melody ; 
and, on the 21st, she sang, for the last time tha.t season, at a 
grand orchestral concert, given for an institution for the support 
of little children at the Theater an der Wien, under the patronage 
of His Imperial Highness the Archduke Franz Carl. 

And thus ended the first short season in Vienna. It had been, 

=•'■ From the Hauser letters. 


for all concerned, a tentative one, for no one could predicate, until 
trial had been made, the temper in Avhich the Viennese might 
feel inclined to accept it. But the experiment had proved 
eminently successful, and there could be no possible doubt on the 
mind of any one as to the result of a similar enterprise undertaken 
during the ensuing winter. If the Viennese critics had seemed 
somewhat more cautious in their expressions than those of 
Berlin, the public had certainly been very much less so in their 

And, now, the scene of the long succession of triimiphs was 

As early as the month of January, 184G, the committee of the 
" Lower Ehine Musical Festival " entered into negotiations with 
Mdlle. Lind in the hope of obtaining her assistance at the 
twenty-eighth meeting of the Association, which was appointed 
to take place, that year, on May ol, and June 1 and 2, at Aix-la- 

The Association was, and still is, one of the most important in 
Europe, and one of the oldest also. First suggested in 1811, and 
regularly organised in 1818, it had, since that year, given an 
annual festival at Whitsuntide, either at Cologne, Diisseldorf, or 
Aix-la-Chapelle, each town taking upon itself the responsibility 
of arrangement, in it-s regular turn. Up to the year 18oo two 
concerts had been given annually, on Whitsunday and Whit- 
monday ; but Mendelssohn, who that year had been for the first 
time appointed conductor, proposed an additional concert on 
the Tuesday morning ; and, as the programme was on that day 
miscellaneous, it was called " The Artists' Concert," under which 
title it has ever since been annually repeated. The festival was 
held that year at Diisseldorf. Mendelssohn again conducted, in 
1835, at Cologne; and in 18o6 he produced his Saint Paul, 
at the eighteenth festival at Diisseldorf. Since then he had 
conducted three times ; and now he was engaged again for 

Many hindrances had arisen, and many changes been made 
with regard to the arrangements, chiefly in consequence of the 
difficulty of engaging an efficient company of artists to support 

220 JENNY LIXD. [bk. v. ch. ii. 

Mdlle. Lind ; for, unlike Herr Pokorny, the committee liad 
determined that she should not be asked to sing with vocalists of 
inferior merit. But all was satisfactorily arranged before she 
left Berlin in April, and the programmes for the two first days 
finally decided upon. 

The first grand rehearsal was fixed for Wednesday, May 27, and 
it had been arranged that Mdlle. Lind should leave Vienna on 
the 2?>rd, meet Mendelssohn at Frankfort on the evening of the 
Oth, and proceed with him down the Rhine to Aix-la-Chapelle 
on the 27th. But when the hour fixed for the departure from 
Vienna arrived, it was found that the injured man-servant was 
quite unfit to travel. 

Always thinking of others, before caring for herself, Mdlle. 
Lind consulted with the doctors, and found that they demanded 
twelve hours longer in order that the sufferer might be comfort- 
ably bandaged and prepared, in so far as was possible under 
such circumstances, for the fatigues of the journey. To this 
delay she consented, in preference to leaving him friendless in 
Vienna. It was a great risk, and involved a terrible increase of 
fatigue for her at a time when she needed all her physical powers, 
as well as those of the mind, in preparation for the responsibilities 
devolving upon her at the festival. But she did not hesitate ; 
though, in consequence of the lateness of the hour at which she 
was obliged to start, it was nearly midnight on Tuesday, May 26, 
before she arrived at Frankfort, where Mendelssohn had been 
awaiting her all the afternoon at the well-known hotel Der Weisse 
Schivan^ in an agony of anxiety and suspense. 

It was, indeed, a desperate venture. If, through any accidental 
hindrance, either of them had failed to appear at the rehearsal 
on Thursday the 28th, the success of the entire festival would 
have been endangered. But all fear of that was now at an end ; 
and, leaving Gorgel the wounded man-servant under careful 
medical attendance in Frankfort, the two friends, accompanied by 
Mdlle. Louise Johansson, started down the Rhine, on Wednesday 
the 27th, by the steamboat, and in due time reached Aix-la- 
Chapelle, v/here Mdlle. Lind, in accordance with the previous 
arrangement, became the guest of the Marquis and Marquise de 
Sassenay, and Mendelssohn occupied an apartment provided for 
him by the committee at the principal hotel — the Grand 


The festival Avas declared by all present to have been the best 
that had taken place within the memory of the public. The two 
l)rincipal songs in Haydn's oratorio, On Mirjhty Pens and With. 
Verdure Clad, and the solo and chorus, The Marvellous Work, 
were calculated to display Mdlle. Lind's powers, whether of voice, 
method, or poetical conception, to the greatest possible advan- 
tage — indeed, they became great favourites everywhere in later 
years. And yet it was undoubtedly in the third part of the 
oratorio that her ideal conception of the work reached its 
culminating point, for she threw the whole poetry of her 
womanly nature into the part of Eve, and emphasised its impor- 
tance in a way which attracted the attention of every deep 
thinker among the audience. There can be no doubt that her 
interpretation of it coincided with Haydn's, in every particular. 
Both saw that the whole interest of the work must of necessity 
concentrate itself upon the point at which the purpose of the 
Almighty Creator is consummated — the creation of man. And 
it was in closest sympathy with this conception that Haydn 
composed, and his careful interpreter sang, the music assigned 
to " the mother of us all." Can we believe that their joint ideal 
was a false one ? 

Mdlle. Lind's part in Alexander'' s Feast was also a very im- 
portant one, demanding the combined powers of virtiiosa and 
poetess. But her greatest success, perhaps, was achieved on the 
Tuesday morning, at the "Artists' Concert," in Mendelssohn's 
Auf Fliigeln des Gesanges and Fruhlingslied, in which, say the 
critics of the period, " she produced an effect wholly unparalleled, 
insomuch that the meeting of 1846 was afterwards known as 
the " Jenny-Lind-Festy 

Many dear friends, both of the conductor and the singer, 
assembled that year at Aix-la-Chapelle to do honour to the 
occasion ; and it was altogether a very happy time, as some 
letters, fortunately preserved, sufficiently prove. 

It will interest the reader to glance at three descriptions of the 
same pleasant Whitsuntide holiday, drawn from three different 
points of view — like P. de Champaigne's threefold portrait of 
the great Cardinal de Piichelieu in the National Gallery — less 
gorgeously toned, indeed, and by no means so grandly modelled ; 
but certainly not less true to nature, though only in playful 

222 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ii. 

Among the sympatlietic friends ^vlio flocked to Aix-la- 
Ohapelle, and certainly not among the least welcome of these, 
were Professor Geijer of Upsala and his wife, who had not 
breathed a word to any one of their intention to come. Their 
presence in the town was a snrprise indeed ; and Madame Geijer 
thus describes the meeting, in a letter forwarded to us by her 
son-in-law Count Hamilton, the Lord-Lieutenant of the province 
of Upland. 

" x\aclien, Whitsunday, 1846. 

" Geijer was informed that ' Friiulein ' Lind and Dr. 
Mendelssohn were at home, so he went to Madame la Marquise 
de Sasseuay's, where Jenny Lind was staying during her visit to 

" Jenny, however, was at rehearsal, so he went to the theatre 
;md enquired for her there. 

"Soon afterwards Jenny came out, and could hardly believe 
lier eyes. She did not know whether she was dreaming, 
whether she was in Germany or Sweden ! 

"She put her hands to her forehead, and was ready to cry. 
Later on, she followed Geijer to the hotel at which we were 
staying. She was joyous, excited, and exceedingly interesting 
and animated. She asked with warmth and emotion after 
friends and acquaintances at home, and more particularly after 
the Lindblads. Geijer told her that Lindblad was engaged on 
an Opera. ' Well,' she cried, ' and who is to sing it ? ' Geijer 
answered, ' You had better say who.' ' Yes,' she said, ' I may 
help him to bring out an Opera, both at home, and here in 
Germany ; there is no doubt about that.' 

" She spoke of the great success she had had in Vienna, and 
told him how, after her last appearance, an attempt had been 
made to draw her carriage, in consequence of which her man- 
servant had been severely injured, so much so that she had been 
obliged to leave him behind. 

" Jenny promised to get tickets for us for the concert, adding 
^ I shall tell them that I will not sing, if they do not give me 
tickets for you.' She also promised that she would arrange for 
Mendelssohn to play to us ; and, since the world now turns round 
according to her wishes and commands, one may feel quite safe 
when she has pronounced hev/iat in one's favour. 

" In the evening we were present at the rehearsal of the 
Creation, and we then heard the good news that Mendelssohn had 
declared his willingness to play to us, and that he would have a 
piano sent to our rooms for that purpose. 


" So, in the evening, Jenny and Mendelssohn came to ns. Jenny 
sang some Lieder, and I need neither describe nor praise them. 
Geijer was quite beside himself with delight and pleasure. 

" Mendelssohn thought Agnes and Jenny so like each other 
that they might be taken for sisters." 

Five days after his departure from Aix-la-Chapelle Mendels- 
sohn, who was then in Diisseldorf, sent the following account of 
the Festival to his friend Franz Hauser, at Vienna :— 

"Diisseldorf, June S, 1848. 

" You wish me to tell you about the musical festival at Aachen. 
Well, it was very good, very splendid, towering above all the 
others, and chiefly owing to Jenny Lind ; for, as to the orchestra, 
I have heard it perhaps better on some other occasions, and the 
chorus, though splendid, has been equally so at previous festivals. 
But they were all so uplifted, so animated, so artistically moved 
by Lind's singing and manner, that the whole thing became a 
dehght, a general success, and worked together as it never did 

" I had the clearest evidence of this at the last rehearsal, when 
I had begged of her, for once, not to be the first and most 
punctual in attendance, but to take some rest and come in 
towards the end of the rehearsal. To this she agreed, and it was 
quite a misery to notice how feebly things went — so devoid of 
swing that even I became listless, like all the others, until, thank 
Ood ! Jenny Lind appeared, when the needful interest and good 
humour came back to us, and things moved on again. 

" There were, of course, wi-eaths, and poems, and fanfares, again 
and again, and the audience was seized with that excitement 
which manifests itself wherever she goes. The manner of its 
manifestation is of no consequence. 

" After the festival, we went together a little way on the Ehine ; 
spent a very pleasant day at Cologne, Bonn, up the Drachenfels, 
at Konigswinter, and back (to Cologne), and on the following day 
she left for Hanover, and I for this place, where I took part 
yesterday in a concert which also would have been a fine one if 
Jenny Lind had been there. 

"To-morrow I leave for Liege, in order to hear the Lauda 
Slon, which I have composed for the festival of Corpus Christi 

Finally, Mdlle. Lind recorded her own impressions of this 
Whitsuntide holiday — for earnest work in the cause of Axt is 
really a holiday to earnest artists, however hard it may be — in 

224 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. ii. 

the following letter to Herr Rudolph Wichmann, the Professor's 
second son : — 

" Aachen, June 2, 1816. 

" My dear Rudolph, 

" My pleasure in Aachen will soon come to an end, for 
all will l)e over to-day, and early to-morrow we leave. Bnt I 
believe Mendelssohn means to accompany ns a little way, and we 
hope to see the view from the Drachenfels, which will be very 

" How well everything went with me in Vienna ! only my man- 
servant was very nearly crushed to death, owing to the enthusiasm, 
so that I had to leave him behind in Frankfort, and he has only 
just now rejoined me. 

" Farewell, my dear boy. Greetings from 

" Thy Sistee." 

It had been a happy time for all ; but for Mendelssohn, with 
Elijah not yet finished, though on the eve of production, and some 
hard days' work still waiting for accomplishment in Diisseldorf, 
Cologne, and Liege, the fatigue was dangerously heavy, and the 
amount of excitement with which it was accompanied more 
disproportioned still to the then condition of his mental and 
physical powers, which sorely needed the rest he was nevermore 
able to accord to them. 

But when did Prndence ever come to the front, to calm the 
suicidal eagerness of Genius ? 

( -^^5 ) 



The view from the Drachenfels answered all the bright expec- 
tations that had been formed of it ; and, after supplementing it 
with an afternoon at Konigswinter, and a pleasant day at Cologne, 
Mdlle. Lind proceeded to Hanover, where she was engaged for 
four performances at the Court Theatre, and a concert. The 
success, on each occasion, was that to which all concerned had so 
long been accustomed, that it was now looked for as a matter of 
course. But, of far greater importance than any amount of local 
enthusiasm was the fact, that, during this visit to Hanover, Mdlle. 
Lind was brought into immediate relations with the then Crown 
Prince and Princess — afterwards King George V. and Queen 
Marie — who, amidst the heavy trials destined afterwards to fall 
upon them, never forgot the friendship with which they then 
learned to regard her ; a friendship which remained undiminished 
until the day of her death, and which, even since then, has been 
most touchingly alluded to by Her Majesty, Queen Marie. 

After fulfilling this engagement, and singing once at a concert 
at Bremen, Mdlle. Lind proceeded to Hamburg, where she was 
engaged for a series of twelve " Guest-performances " at the Stadt 
Theatre, supplemented by a benefit in aid of the "Theatrical 
Orchestra Pension Fund," another for herself, and a concert for 
the poor. 

During this visit, she did not reside in Hamburg itself, having 
accepted an invitation to the house of her friend. Consul 
Amemann, at Nienstiidten, near the neighbouring township of 
Altona. Here she spent many pleasant weeks with her host and 
hostess and their family, who had invited another friend — Mdlle. 
Mina Fundin — to keep her company, and had also sent a 
pressing invitation to Mendelssohn, in the hope that he would be 
able to take Nienstiidten on his way to England, whither he was 


226 JENNY LIND. [liK. v. ch. in- 

bound, in August, for the purpose of producing his Elijah at the 
Birmingham Festival. This project, however, failed entirely. 
Though Mendelssohn would have been pleased indeed to have 
availed himself of so pleasant an opportunity for refreshing 
himself with a brief rest, before his heavy work began, it was quite 
impossible for him to do so. He was working beyond his strength, 
as he himself well knew ; and let the consequences be what they 
might, there was no help for it. 

During her second season at Hamburg, Mdlle. Lind's per- 
formances were received with even greater enthusiasm than those 
of the previous year. Indeed, if a local journal of the period may 
be trusted, her horses ^nere again unharnessed, after the concert 
on Aug. 1, and her carriage drawn home, as at Vienna, by the 
admiring crowd. She prolonged her visit at Nienstildten — with 
interruptions — for some considerable time, after the termination 
of her engagement at the theatre. Like Mendelssohn, she had, 
for some time past, been working far beyond her strength, and 
the fatigue was now beginning to tell upon her with serious effect. 
She herself saw this very plainly ; and her project for retiring 
from the stage was forced into greater prominence, just at this 
time, by the inroads that excessive fatigue was making upon her 
health and strength. Indeed, one can only look on in wonder at 
the amount of work she was able to accomplish, without actually 
breaking down. But it had to be continued, for the present at 
least, whatever the sacrifice might be. 

In the meantime, the correspondence with Mendelssohn was 

not allowed to languish. Towards the end of July, he wrote 

thus : — 

" Leipzig, July 23, 1846. 

"My dear Fraulein, 

" As usual, I come to you, to-day, asking a favour. I mean, 
that I am anxious to know how matters stand, with regard to 
your travelling arrangements, both now, and in the future — and 
I hope you will explain them to me. In your last letter, you told 
me that you were going to Switzerland, with the Wichmanns, on 
Aug. 1. Does this plan still hold good ? And, is it true, or not, 
that you will be at Frankfort in September ? Also, are you going 
straight from Hamburg to Berlin, to fetch the Wichmanns ? AH 
this I want to know. And it is because I want to know this, that 
I ask you to tell me of your plans, both before and after your 
journey to Switzerland and Vienna ; and whether you still adhere 
both to the one and the other intention. The reason is, that, since 


my return from the Rhine, I have hved the life of a marmot. I 
was rather frightened, when, on coming back, I saw the amount 
of work that lay unfinished, and compared it with the time that 
remained to me. Then, I made up my mind not to write to you 
until my Oratorio was quite complete ; * but, for the last few days 
I have not l)een well (you will find it out, sooner or later), so now 
I shall not be ready till August, and I dare not delay my letter so 
long as that, or it will be brought to you while on the back of 
some mule or other, to some cow-herd's hut. 

" Madame Arnemann has written me a very friendly letter, and 
invited me to Nienstiidten. As yet, I have not been able even 
to thank her for it ; and yet, how gladly would I have accepted 
the invitation ! But I cannot get away from here before the 
middle of August ; and, even then, I must make haste, in order 
to reach England in time. To-day, however, I really will write 
to Madame Arnemann, or she will be vexed — and with good 

" Is it true that you have been singing the ' Pipfiimentstocliter ' 
in German ? If so, I should have liked to have been one of the 
audience. And, do you know that the Geijers have lately been 
here ? and, that they invited me to go to Sweden, to feast on a 
roasted reindeer ? (I can get rice-milk at your house !) And, 
that Friiulein Geijer sang ' Vonrdrts so heisst des ScMcIcsah Gebot ' 
to me again ? and the song, by Lindblad, in C major. 

" But, I will leave off, for to-day. My letter is tiresome, and 
stupid, and will continue so to the end. Only, grant my requests.. 
And tell me all about yourself, and how you are getting on, and 
whether you are having much music, and whether you are in good 
spirits, and in first-rate voice ? 

"_"We are all well, at home, and often remember you. 

" Your friend, 
"Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

Mendelssohn's letters were always welcome ; and we have felt 
it necessary to present them to our readers without any abbrevia- 
tion ; but the events which took place between this period and 
the beginning of September need no detailed record. It was 
a time of rest, much needed, and hardly earned. We shall, 
therefore, resume our history, with the return to a more active 
Art-life, in the autumn. 

Soon after the middle of September, Mdlle. Lind, accompanied 

Q 2 

* Elijah, whicli was to be produced at the Birmingham Festival, in the 
following August. 

228 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. ch. hi. 

by Mdlle. Louise Joluinsson, arrived at Frankfort, where the 
business of the season began. 

She had by this time acquired a thoroughly methodical and 
business-like way of keeping records, and one of her first acts, on 
arriving at Frankfort, was the purchase of a thick and sturdy 
memorandum-book, a square bulky volume, of quarto size, 
labelled, " Annotation-Book of Jenny Lind," * and filled with 
rided "sermon-paper," in which she entered every one of her 
engagements, from that time forward, up to the moment of her 
marriage, in America, in the year 1852. 

The value of this docmnent to her biographers may be 
imagined. Henceforward we shall no more have to send to 
Berlin, or to Vienna, for official lists of the various perform- 
ances with which we are concerned. It is true that, up to this 
date, such lists have been furnished to us through the inter- 
vention of Mr. Goldschmidt, with never-failing courtesy, by the 
officers in whose charge the archives of the different theatres are 
placed. The information for which we have asked, whether at 
Berlin, Yienna, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Hamburg, or elsewhere, 
has never once been refused to us, and as much care has been 
bestowed upon the verification of a date as if the welfare of the 
theatre itself had depended upon its correctness. For this we 
tender our best and most sincere thanks ; but henceforth every 
date, in whatever country, will be given on the authority of 
Mdlle. Lind's own hand-writing, and the advautage of this is 

The first entries in the book are : — 

" Frankfort a/M. iSiG. 

Sonnambula Sept. 25 

Norma m 28 

Figlia „ 30 

Figlia Oct. 2 

Sonnarnbula m 5 

Vestale (50 Louis d'or for the members of the 

chorus) X ,, 7 

Figlia (benefit for the orchestra pension-fund) x ,,10 

We subjoin a fac-simile of the first page. The little cross 

means that the performance was given wholly, or in part, for 

charitable or benevolent purposes, and the number of such crosses 

in a single page is sometimes very remarkable. In the present 

* Annotations-Bok. 


case fifty Louis (Tor of the proceeds, on Oct. 7, were given to 
tlie chorus, and on the 10th the whole was devoted to the 
*' Orchestra Pension Fund " of the Frankfort Stadt Theatre. 

The performances were crowned with the usual success, and 
followed bj the usual demonstrations of enthusiastic admiration ; 
but this visit to Frankfort was memorable for reasons quite 
unconnected with its individual triumphs, for it was here that 
the idea of an engagement at Her Majesty's Theatre, in London, 
hrst took a definite and palpable form. 

Some of her London friends — including Mrs. Grote, who herself 
mentions the fact in the MS. " Memoir " from which we have so 
frequently quoted — had " urged Mr. Lumley to make efforts in 
this direction," and he had, in fact, "made more than one 
tentative to obtain the services of the celebrated songstress for 
Her Majesty's Theatre." Hearing of this — as no doubt he did — • 
Mr. Bunn, looking at the circumstance from his own point of 
view, put the worst possible construction upon it, and took it for 
granted that his correspondent was cognizant of all that took 
place — Avhich was not true. She did not know of it, until the 
period affected by Mr. Bunn's contract had long been over- 
23assed. It was not until long after that date that Mr. Lumley 
made her a definite and tangible offer for Her Majesty's Theatre ; 
and, when the offer came, she refused even to think of it. She 
was so terrified at the penalties, the law-suits, and the disgrace 
with which Mr. Bunn had threatened her, that her dearest and 
most trusted friends could not persuade her to entertain the idea 
of appearing at an English theatre under any circumstances, or 
upon any terms whatever. 

And yet her destiny seemed to be weaving a net round about 
her, from which no way of escape was visible. She was brought, 
apart from her own will entirely, under the steadily increasing in- 
fluence of English friends. Mrs. Grote was most anxious that she 
should come to London. Her brother, Mr. Edward Lewin — of 
whom more will be said in a future chapter — saw no insur- 
mountable difiiculties in the way of an engagement at Her 
Majesty's Theatre. Mr. Lumley was unceasing in his endeavours 
to induce her to rescind her decision ; and, while she was still 
in Frankfort, the musical correspondent of one of the most 
influential art journals in England turned aside from his travels, 
in the hope of hearing her sing, and begged an introduction to 

230 JENNY LIND. [v.k. v. ch. hi. 

her, from a quarter whence he well knew that it would he 
favourably received. 

The following letter from Mendelssohn, which arrived in 
Frankfort almost simultaneously Avith Mdlle. Lind herself, will 
explain the situation exactly : — 

" Leipzig, Sept. 23, 1846. 

"My dear Frauleix, 

" If you will do me a real favour, and if you are not too 
much occupied and worried during your stay in Frankfort, let me 
beg of you to receive the bearer of these lines, Mr. Chorley 
(an acquaintance of mine of long standing, and a great lover of 
music), with your usual kindness, and to sing him one of my 

" He is an excellent listener, and you will make him very happy 
if you grant my wish. I believe he is goiug to Frankfort solely 
on this account, so that I have really no choice but to come to 
you with this new request. 

"Many thanks for your last letter, which I only received 
after I had left London, and at the moment of starting for 

"I have so much to say about England, and your journey 
thither, that I really do not know how I am to write it. In any 
case, everything depends upon the way in which one establishes 
oneself there ; or, rather, upon the way in which you establish 
I/O ur self, for you have the whole thing entirely in your own hands, 
and English lovers of music are expecting you, in a frame of mind, 
and speaking of you, in terms, which please me very much indeed 
— a thing which very seldom happens — when I hear you spoken 
of. So you can manage it exactly as you will ; though, for that 
very reason, you alone are in a position to decide upon it. 

" Till we meet again, merry, happy, unchanged, 

"Felix Mexdelssohn Baetholdy." 

Thus prepared for Mr. Chorley's visit, Mdlle. Lind received him 
when he called, a few days later, with the friendly courtesy which 
she felt it no less a pleasure than a duty to extend to the friends 
of those with whom she was herself on terms of intimacy. He 
repeated his visit more than once, heard her sing in La Figlia del 
Reggimento, and afterwards in La Sonnamhula and Die VestaUn, 
and wrote, on Oct. 4, to Mrs. Grote, describing, in the most en- 
thusiastic terms, the pleasure he had felt in hearing her sing, 
" And now let me tell you," he says, " how thoroughly, with my 

* Mr. Chorley was tlie musical critic attached to the Athenxum. 


"whole hciirt, 1 like her as a singer, more, by twenty times, than I 
had expected. ... I was really delighted to find that I am not 
past the old thrill, or the old beating of the heart, and that I 
could not go to bed till I had written a note (in horrible French) 
to say ' Thank yon.' " 

On the same day (Oct. 4th) he also wrote to Mendelssohn, to 
thank him for " the very very intense pleasure " that had made 
him " laugh and cry like a child again," after " a fear of disap- 
pointment" which he "hardly liked to describe," ending his 
letter with the words, " She says she will not come to London," * 
— from which it is evident, that, if he did not endeavour to 
persuade her to come, he had, at least, discussed the subject with 

The next engagement was at Darmstadt, where Mdlle. Lind 
sang three times at the Court Theatre, — in La Sonnamlula, 
Norma, and La Flglia del Reggimento. The merhory of the 
previous performances in Sept. 1845 were still green and 
flourishing, and the success of the second visit was greater than 
that of the first. 

In the meantime, Mr. Lumley had not been idle. He had now 
abundant hope — having gained the all-powerful support of 
Mendelssohn — and the engagement of Mdlle. Lind was a matter 
of such vital importance to him that he could not afford to let 
the subject drop. Since the close of the previous season, the 
affairs of Her Majesty's Theatre had been in the utmost possible 
disorder. The company, with Mesdames Grisi and Persiani at 
their head, had revolted, and there was no one to take their 
place. Mr. Lumley's friends saw, in the proposed engagement, 
his only chance of escape from absolute ruin, and urged him to 
leave no stone unturned that might help to bring the matter to a 
successful issue. By their advice, he followed Mdlle. Lind from 
Frankfort to Darmstadt, and there again presented himself to 
her, armed, this time, with a letter from Mendelssohn, whom he 
had seen in Leipzig, and to whom he had taken a letter from 

Feeling sure that the missive with the delivery of which he was 
entrusted was a very valuable one, and not at all likely to be 
written in opposition to his own interests, Mr. Lumley lost no 
time in presenting it in person ; and thus it ran : — 

* From the original letter, preserved by the Mendelssohn Family. 

2o2 JENNY LIND. [bk. v. cii. iij. 

" Leipzig, October 12, 1846. 

"My dear Frauleix, 

" I intended to write to you on the day on which yonr 
first letter arrived ; but a few hours afterwards came your second 
letter, and Mr. Lumley, who brought it. All that he said to me, 
and all that passed through my mind in connection with it, and 
the different thoughts that crossed each other hither and thither^ 
made it impossible for me to write to you until to-day ; and I 
told Mr. Lumley that, if he should be coming here again after 
his journey to Berlin, I would meanwhile think it all carefully 
over, and would then tell him whether I could advise you to go 
to London or not. 

" Upon that — />., upon my advice — he seems to set great 
store, and I have already told you in my former letter that the 
whole success of his undertaking depends upon your coming. 

" In short, I can only repeat what I then wrote — I should like 
you, as far as is humanly possible, to arrange, as completehj as one 
could wish, for your own comfort, and, when that has all been 
settled, I should like you to go there. 

" I should have strongly urged Mr. Lumley — at least, on his 
return here — to speak clearly and exactly about money matters ; 
because that is a very serious point, in Eugiand ; and because 
you could, and ought, to make such terms as no one else could at 
this moment, since you are the only one upon whom alone the 
A\hole thing depends. But — do not be angry with me ! — I had 
not the courage to do this : not even for you, though I know 
that you understand that kind of thing even less than I do — in 
other words, not at all. But it is such a very sore point wdth 
me, and I rejoice so much when I have nothing to hear or say 
about it, that I could not bring the words to my lips. And, at 
last, I thought, ' It is not my province,' and so, after all, I let it 

"Therefore I can only repeat, it must all be as is just and 
right to you. 

" ^Nevertheless, you will certainly meet with such a reception 
there, that you will be able to think of it with pleasure through- 
out the whole of your future life. When the English once 
entertain a personal liking for anyone, I believe that no people 
are more friendly, more cordial, or more constant ; and such a 
feeling you will find there. For, as I told you before, I have 
noticed that they entertain this true feeling there, not only about 
your singing, but about your personality, and your whole being, 
and upon this last they even set more store than upon the singing 
itself. And this is as it should be. 

" In my opinion, therefore, it cannot for a moment be doubted 


that you will be received there as you deserve — more warmly, 
enthusiastically, and heartily, perhaps, than in all your former 
experience : and you have experienced a great deal in that way. 
You will therefore give your friends great pleasure if you go 
there ; and I, for my part, should be very glad indeed if you 
were to go. 

" Insist upon all possible conditions that can in the least 
degree make things agreeable to you, and insist upon them very 
firmly, and strictly, and clearly. Do not forget anything that 
may be pleasant for you, and have nothing to say to anything 
that may be unpleasant. Going to London, and singing there, 
can, in itself, be nothing but pleasant — of that I am firmly 
persuaded. Everything else depends only upon the manner in 
which this is done, and all that you have in your own hands. 

" I am selfish, too, in my advice ; for I hope that we shall 
there meet in the world again. While still in England, I had 
half promised to return there next April ; had I only known that 
you would be there at that time, or would be going there, you 
may imagine how much more willingly I should have settled it. 
Mr. Lumley, also, in the kindest manner, proposed that I should 
compose an Opera for him next May, and I could only answer, 
that, on the self -same day on which I succeeded in getting a good 
liltretto, on a good subject, I would begin to write the music ; 
and that, in doing so, I should be fulfilling my greatest wish. 
He hopes soon to be able to procure such a lihretto, and has 
already taken some decided steps with regard to it. God grant 
that some good results may follow. From Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, 
I have not heard a single word, for a long time. In the mean- 
time, I have music-paper and finely-nibbed pens lying on the 
table — and wait. 

"But, apart from this, I hope, as I have told you, to visit 
London again next spring, and what a pleasure it will be to me 
to witness there the most brilliant and hearty reception that can 
possibly fall to an artist's lot ! For I know full well that that is 
what your reception will be, and it will be great fun for me that 
you yourself will be the feted artist. 

" For myself, I am doing well ; but, during the three weeks 
that have elapsed since I returned here, I have done scarcely 
anything but rest, so tired was I — and still am, sometimes — 
with the work that preceded the journey to England, and the 
journey itself. The performance of my Elijah was the best 
first performance that I have ever heard of any one of my 
compositions. There was so much go, and swing, in the way in 
which the people played, and sang, and listened. I wish you had 
been there. But I have now fallen back into the concert trouble, 

234 JENXY LINi). [bk. v. cii. hi. 

and can neither get true rest, nor ([uietuess here. So I have 
built myself a grand castle in the air ; namely, to travel, next 
summer, with my whole family, in my favourite country — which, 
as you know, is Switzerland — and then to study uninterruptedly 
for two months on one of the lakes, living in the open air. If 
God gives us health, we will carry out this plan ; and when I 
think of such a quiet time in the country after all the hurry and 
bustle, and all the brightness of a London season, and remember 
iiow dear both of them are to me, and how well they please me, 
I almost wish that the spring were already here, and that I was 
taking my seat in the travelling carriage. 

" i\.nd now, to-day, I have still a request to make. Write to me, 
at once, when you have come to a decision concerning England ; 
and tell me everything, with all the details : for you know how 
much it all interests me. Before all things, then, write to me, 
from time to time ; and think kindly of me, sometimes. 

" As for myself, you know that I am, and remain, 
" Your friend, 

"Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy." 

The result of Mendelssohn's advice will be most clearly 
manifested by a letter which Mr. Lumley wrote to him after 
his interview with Mdlle. Lind — a letter which is all the more 
interesting, inasmuch as it treats, also, of the long hoped-for 
lihretio in such sort as to show that the manager had already 
begun to look upon it as " a matter of business." 

" Darmstadt, Oct. 17. 

"Dear Mr. Mexdelssohx, 

" I am delighted to tell you that your letter has had its 
t'ffect ; and that the lady has signed an engagement.* 

"Your letter charmed her so much. It was a most pleasing 
picture — her countenance, when reading it. No sun could have 
infused more joy into a beautiful landscape, than your letter did 
on her. 

" To give her peace of mind, I added clauses to the engage- 
ment, which, if knowm by persons not intimately acquainted with 
her charming character and feeling of honour, would perhaps 
incur for me the charge of folly. But, I know I can depend on 
her honour ; and I am perfectly happy and contented on that 
head. I have prepared the engagement wholly in her favour ; 
but I proposed to her to add anything else that you might think 
advisable, and I added a clause to that effect. 

* The document was formally signed on Oct. 17, 1846. 


" She would not enter into the question of money ; but I am 
quite sure you will be satisfied that I have done everything- 
right in that way. 

" I need not tell you how truly grateful I am to you. The 
English, as a nation, will owe you a debt of gratitude ; for I 
look upon the engagement of Lind as a new era in the progress 
of Art in England. Her success will be transcendent. Inde- 
pendently of her great genius, she has that purity and chastity 
of manner which none but a really good person can possess, and 
which, in England, will gain her partisans on all sides. I say 
' on all sides,' because, even with the vile, there is that in real 
goodness and virtue which commands admiration. 

" Pray remember me most kindly to Madame Mendelssohn, 
and to her mother, and permit me to send my love to your 
children, not forgetting the baby, and that beautiful boy Carl, 
who, though suggestive of the pictures of Raphael, and Cor- 
reggio, reminds us that there is an Artist far above the greatest 
of human artists, and that the real is frequently more beautiful 
than the ideal. 

" My joy on the completion of the affair is not unsullied. I 
am fearful that she may, for a time, at least, tease herself with 
fears, which, though entirely groundless, may equally torment 
her. I will venture to entreat you to assure her of the absolute 
certainty of her great success to give her encouragement. 

" I shall lose no time in occupying myself, immediately, with 
the libretto for our grand affair ; and I do not despair of 
providing you with a libretto which shall give you pleasure and 
ensure your valuable aid. 

" It is of importance that this affair of Lind should be kept 
private for the present. I shall lose no time in occupying myself 
about the ' affaire Bumi.^ 

" I need not say that it will give me great pleasure to hear 
from you. " Yours most truly, 

" B. LUMLEY." * 

AVithout wearying our readers with a literal transcript of the 
"Lumley Contract," with its endless circumlocutions and 
technical legal phraseology, we may briefly say that it provided : — 

(1) An honorarium of 120,000 francs (£4800) for the season. 

reckoned from April 14th to August 20th, 1847. 

(2) A furnished house, a carriage, and a pair of horses, free of 

charge, for the season. 

* Transcribed from the original letter, preserved by the Mendelssohn 

236 JENNY IJND. [bk. v. ch. hi. 

(3) A farther siim of £800 if Mdlle. Liud wished to spend a 

month in Italy before her delut, for the purpose of 
studying the language, or for rest. 

(4) Liberty to cancel the engagement, if, after her first 

appearance, she felt dissatisfied at the measure of its 
success and wished to discontinue her performances, 
(o) Mdlle. Lind was not to sing at concerts, public or private, 
for her own emolument. 

So, the question of appearing at Her Majesty's Theatre was 
decided at last ; and, when IMdlle. Lind left Darmstadt, for 
^lunich, she had bound herself to the most important dramatic 
engagement, and prepared the way for the most solid artistic 
triumph that ever had been, or was ever destined to be, associated 
Avith her name. 

( 237 ) 




Ox the 1st of August, 184G, Mdlle. Lind proceeded from Darm- 
stadt to Munich, where, between the 23rd of October, and the 8th 
of November, she sang six times at the Opera ; besides taking 
part in a Concert given for the benefit of the Orchestra. 

Before leaving Frankfort, she had sent the following account 
of her probable movements to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer : — ■ 

" Frankfort-on-the-Maine, Oct. 6, 1846. 

" To-day, I am twenty-six years old ! dear Mother Birch ! that 
is no light matter ; and therefore it is that I feel such a desire to 
write to you to-day, and to thank you heartily for your last letter. 

" Your letters are so motherly, and filled with such good wishes, 
that I thought I heard you speaking, and saw your face quite 
clearly, exactly as it used to be in Berlin, when we were discussing 
anything particular. So I thank you my good friend for this 
your sympathy. 

" I have never thought otherwise than to go to Vienna ; let 
what will happen, I shall sing in the FekUager, and all the more, 
because it has fallen through in London. This is really my wish 
— only, you yourself know what is to be expected from Pokorny, 
and whether one has not everything to fear there from a man 
who understands absolutely nothing about the matter. 

" I will, and must, keep my promise with the public ; and I 
shall be quit of this promise if I sing in Meyerbeer's Opera. With 
regard to the performance, the first thing is, that a good tenor 
should be engaged, and that the others should be passable._ As 
for what concerns me, I shall make my arrangements in Vienna 

238 JENNY LIND. [bk. vi. ch. i. 

according to circumstances. If I am not pleased, I shall leave 
immediately after tlie FeldJager. 

" I am longing, above all measure, to get away from the stage. 
I think, now, that I shall be ready in six months. I cannot do 
otherwise. It is stronger than I ! 

" Lumley, the Director of the Italian Opera in London, came 
here ; but I have sent him to Italy, to look for a singer there. 
But, he still hopes to get me ; and, if you should hear that I 
have really gone mad, I may then go to London." * 

In the meantime, Mdlle. Lind's visit to Munich was a great 
success. An introduction to the family of Professor Wilhelm von 
Kaulbach, the famous Bavarian painter, had resulted in an invi- 
tation to his house, where she was received, during the time of 
her visit, with warm hospitality ; treated, by the Professor, and his 
wife, as a beloved daughter ; and made no less happy than she 
had been, in Berlin, at the house of Professor Wichmann. 

And so it happened, that the visit to Munich was a very happy, 
as well as a very successful one. But there were anxieties wdth 
regard to the Lumley Contract ; and, especially, with reference to 
the clause which provided for an increased honorarium, if Mdlle. 
Lind felt it necessary to pass a month in Italy, for the purpose of 
studying the language. She herself thought the plan desirable. 
Mendelssohn, however, did not approve of it ; and stated his 
objection to this, and some other clauses in the " Lumley Con- 
tract," in a letter, dated " Leipzig, October 31, 18IG." 

" My dear Praulein, 

" A thousand thanks for the trust you place in me. I 
have many times wished that I were wise and shrewd enough to 
be able to respond to this trust by something better than good- 
will and the best wishes ; but, unfortunately, with regard to 
contracts, and all sorts of law-business, I am the stupidest creature 
that can possibly be. 

" Once, I thought I would show the contract to some one or 
other who could give me good advice, and tell me of all sorts of 
clauses that might possibly be added to it. In the end, however, 
this did not seem to me to be wise ; and I have preferred not 
showing your contract to any lawyers at all, and have taken no 
good advice at all upon it. For, I think, if you had wished for 
finesse of this kind, you would not have applied to me. And, 
besides this, I think that you will be greeted, in England, 

* From Frau von Hillern's collectioii. 


musically and personally, ^vitll such love, and jubilation, and 
rapture, as has seldom fallen even to you ; and I think that you 
will pass pleasant days there : and that this is the chief purport 
of the contract, and the chief point of the whole business. 

" A few things, certainly, do not seem to me to be right ; but, 
as these are chief points in the contract, and as you have already 
signed, I do not see how anything can be altered. 

" Finally, it seems to me that I could have nothing to do with 
modifying anything in the engagement, but only with adding 
something that might occur to me. I shonld, indeed, have gladly 
seen that Liunley had contented himself with four months. 
(That he always spoke to me of four months, here, I well re- 
member.) And that, instead of ten times in each month, you had 
insisted upon eight, at most. And, when I think of all this, and 
of your personal reputation in England at the present moment, it 
seems to me that something ought also to be altered on the score 
of money. 

" But all this must, I believe, be looked upon as settled, now 
and for ever, since you have signed. And, from this moment, in 
my opinion, none of these points — which really are, and must 
remain, the chief points of the contract — can in any way be 
brought into question. 

" Also, I am convinced that you will enjoy being in England ; 
and, if so, the twenty-one days in August might perhaps, in any 
case, have been conceded by you. And, more than that, you will 
sing ten times there with less exertion than eight times in Germany, 
where the journeys, the frequently inadequate support, and, above 
all, the hundred thousand shameful and shameless demands with 
which you are beset, tire you a great deal more than the singing 
itself — and all this you will, in great part, get rid of there. 

" Moreover, you will not, I think, find it very expensive there, 
since the two most costly items are provided for in the contract,, 
and will not fall to your charge. But, in any case, this, as I have 
already said, can no longer be brought into question, since it is 
already decided. 

" To set against this, there is one little thing that I do not like 
to give in to ; namely, when it says that ' Mdlle. Lind ne chantera 
dans aucim autre Theatre ou Concert 2niUique ou imrtkidier^ I 
find, *" ne chantera dans aucun Theatre ou Concert iwMUiue^ quite 
reasonable ; and this is, in fact, all the pleasanter for you ; but, as 
you very properly say in your letter, that ^ imrtkuUer ' may, in the 
end, be made to extend to the Queen. Above all, then, if it is to 
please me, great freedom and latitude must prevail with regard to 
that not '• ■publique'^ but ^ particidier.'* I should be most pleased if 
the two words, ' ou ;particiLlier ^ were struck out altogether ; but 

240 JENNY LIND. [bk. vi. gii. i. 

that, I fear, would create difficulty, since you yourself have sanc- 
tioned them by your signature. Still, as the sense of them satisfies 
me so little, I should like, if the two words cannot be struck out, 
to add the following, at the end : — 

" // est lien enfendu, que sous h terme, * Concerts particuliers ' 
{dans JesqueJs Mdlle. Lind a renoncee de chanter), ne sont compris 
que les Concerts qui se donnent dans les appartements partictdiers 
{comme cela sefcut souvent a Londres), et oil Von entre en pay ant ; 
mais que pour touies Us Soireies ou^OQitTt'S,particulieres ou Mdlle. 
Lind sera invitee, et ou personne ne pent entrer en payant, elJe 
doit se reserver la lilerte de faire tel usage de son talent qid lui 

" Lastly, there is still something to which I object — that you 
should promise to spend the month during which you study the 
Italian language, in some Italian city. Could not this be done 
just as well in Vienna ? And would not the journey to Italy, and 
thence to England immediately afterwards, fatigue you more than 
a month's rest would strengthen and refresh you ? 

" You will, no doubt, come to an understanding with Mr. Lumley 
on these points, by word of mouth, as he told me he would meet 
you again in Vienna. If, however, you agree with my interpo- 
lations in French, I beg you to send them to him. I, on my part, 
will do so, direct ; and I will also write to him once more about 
the libretto, and press him on the subject. 

" This brings me back to Madame Birch-PfeifFer ; and I assure 
you, that, for half a year past, I have put together her suspicious 
remarks, of all kinds, about the headaches ; and I foresaw, long 
ago, that she would find a thousand and one excuses for not 
writing a libretto at all. I fear it still, to-day ; but, notwith- 
standing this, I think that I dare not, and must not, countermand 
her. On the contrary, if she were really to write and send me a 
good libretto, why should I not set it to music ? I would do so 
with the greatest pleasure, whether Meyerbeer busied himself 
about it, or not. But I shall keep my eyes open, to see whether 
the book is good, or the contrary ; and, if it is not good, I must 
tell her, somehow or other, that it will not do. And it is for this 
reason that I would rather wait and see what she does. Some- 
times, however, I think she will do nothing ; in which case the 
thing will come to an end of itself ; for I cannot go on reminding 
and pressing her any longer, and, since the last letter, with the 
questions that I wi'ote to you about, I have heard nothing, 

" I should indeed be glad if I could soon, in accordance with 
my most hearty wish, write something dramatic — and especially, 
for you. Of what I can do in that way I will neglect nothing ; 
of that I assure you ; for I should at all times have gladly written 

184G.] SOUTH GERMANY. 241 

dramatic music, but now more gladly than ever. And then I 
liave a secret foreboding, which tells me that, if I do not attain to 
the composition of a fairly good Opera, nou\ and /or you, I shall 
never accomplish it at all. But, on that point again, I entertain 
a regular Turkish fatalism — that, if it never happens, it never was 
to happen, even though I may have done all that I could to bring 
it about. And that, I am doing. So I shall be content if we 
meet again in this life, be it with, or without an Opera. 

" But enough of plans ! Enough of contracts ! I return the 
contract herewith — enough of England, Scotland, and Ireland ! 

" Yet, no ! there is still a claim that I should like to insert into 
the contract, only I should like to insert it in German. I beg 
you, Friiulein Lind, to engage yourself with two friends whom I 
have in London, to visit them sometimes, to sit quite still by the 
lady, who is very ill and can have very little more pleasure in this 
world, and now and then to sing her a song. In that way you 
will indeed give joleasure to her, and to me also. Is that a point 
of the contract which you have signed ? or rather, one which I 
may venture to add to it ? 

"xind now, really enough of this ! We are in good health, 
and well in all essential matters ; but all sorts of little difficulties 
and sicknesses in the household, and other worries here and there, 
have prevented the last few weeks from being cheerful. 

" Then, the heterogeneous mixture of half-French ways and 
manners that I see daily more and more gaining ground in my 
Fatherland makes me often so inwardly sorry, that it has long 
spoiled my good humour. It dives into every hole and corner ; it 
creeps in one way into Life, in another into Art, and in yet 
another into Science ; yet nowhere is it good. It is mimicked 
everywhere ; everywhere it is bound to disappear, as soon as one 
looks it fairly in the eyes ; and yet it always swaggers on again, 
in its borrowed mediocrity. I wish I could some day talk this 
over with you at length ; for you know the misery just as well 
as I do myself, and as everyone does, wdio has, at this moment, 
anything to do with things public in Germany. But, what is 
the use of talking about it ? and yet, ' Out of the abundance of 
the heart,' &c. 

" You are now in Munich, and meet the Swedish Princes — so 
people tell me — and see my old Hauser in his new office. You 
must greet him many times from me. I was also with him, once, 
in Munich, and very pleasant it was. But that was a long while 
ago ! Are you now going to Vienna ? How long do you stay 
in Munich ? And how long in Vienna, afterwards ? What is 
Friiulein Luise doing ? Were you happy in Frankfort ? All 
these, and a thousand others, are questions to which I would 

242 JENNY LIND. [dk. vi. ch. i. 

gladly have your answer, when you have again time to write 
to me. 

" I often think, now, of your question on the Ehine steamboat, 
whether I should not Hke to leave Leipzig again ? and your wish 
that I should not stay in Leipzig for ever, &c. &c. You were 
quite right, and I well know what you meant ; and, in two or three 
years, at the utmost, I think I shall have done my duty here, after 
which I should scarcely stay any longer.* Perhaps I might prefer 
Berlin ; perhaps, the Rhine ; somewhere where it is very pretty, 
and where I could compose all day long, as much as I liked. 
But, really, you would have to sing to me, sometimes." 

In the end, after much hesitation, the project for the Italian 
journey was finally abandoned. Mr. Lumley does not seem to 
have interfered, in any way, with the settlement of the question, 
or even to have taken any particular interest in it, though the 
expedition would have cost him £800. 

But, with reference to another point, concerning which Men- 
delssohn had evidently written to him " direct," as he had promised 
to do in his letter to Mdlle. Lind, he returned an explanatory 
reply, showing that the bearing of the clause relating to ' Concerts 
particuUers ' was far more important than his correspondent 

It was evident that the clause relating to this point must, for 
the protection of both parties to the contract, be so worded as 
to render misinterpretation impossible. Mr. Lumley, therefore, 
proposed to add the three following clauses to the original 
document : — 

" (1). The clause referred to does not extend to any concert 
given by the Queen. 

" (2). It does not extend to prevent Mdlle. Lind from singing 
gratuitously, should she think -fit, in private parties of friends, or 
where she may be invited as one of the company, even though she 
should subsequently, or at the time, be presented with a cacleau 
for so doing. 

" (3). Should any question arise as to the construction of the term 
' private concerts ' (' Concerts particuliers '), and in what private 
concerts she can or cannot sing, it is left to Mdlle. Lind to decide, 
Mr. Lumley having the fullest reliance on her honourable feeling, 
in this, as in all other instances." 

* Mendelssohn died in the autumn of the next year. 

1846.] SOUTH GERMANY. 243 

This explanatory gloss was, of course, perfectly satisfactory ; 
jind, so far as the terms of the contract were concerned, there 
was little, if anything', that needed farther revision. 

But, the prospect was not altogether cloudless. There was still 
a shadow looming in the distance — a hideous shadow, that 
stretched across from England. 

All, however, still went well, and more than well, at Munich. 
Herr Hauser ^vrote to Mendelssohn : — 

" The maiden has sung here in such sort that it has been a 
true and heart-felt pleasure to listen to her. Among other parts 
she sang that of Susanna, for the first time ; and one could not 
imagine anything more gracefully lovely. I wish you could have 
heard her sing the passage Komm clu mein Tranter, class icli Dich 
Icrdnze mit Rosen. She looked like an angel, and nothing could 
possibly have been more beautiful ; for me it was the most 
beautiful thing that I knew of. Moreover, the Munich people 
did not behave badly outside the house. The orchestra was the 
maddest. For instance, she never came to the theatre for re- 
hearsal without being received with shouts and fanfares ! I tell 
you it was a jubilee such as I find it impossible to describe. So 
I prefer saying no more about it." 

And as, in Madame Wichmann's salon in Berlin, Mdlle. Lind 
had enjoyed the society of so many of the leading spirits in the 
Prussian literary and artistic world, so here, at Professor Kaul- 
bach's, she was brought into contact with the leading men of 
genius in Bavaria. And, apart from this literary and artistic 
circle, she found a hearty welcome in other classes of society. 
Prince Maximilian of Bavaria, the father of the present Empress 
of Austria, was her sincere friend ; and other magnates of highest 
rank received her with marked respect and attention. Her stay 
in the Bavarian capital was, therefore, in every way an interesting 
and agreeable one. 

Six performances at the theatre and a Concert for the Orchestra 
were completed by the 8th of November, and she then took 
leave of Munich for a time, to return again in the middle of 

Her next engagement was at Stuttgard, where between the 11th 
and the 22nd of November she sang five times at the Theatre ; 

R 2 

244 JENNY LIND. [bk. vi. ch. i. 

once, at a Court Concert given by the King of Wurtembnrg ; and 
at a mixed entertainment, for the benefit of the poor — for Avhom 
she earned fifteen hundred and fifty Rhenish gulden. 

On the day after her first performance at Stuttgard she wrote 
to her friend Madame von Kaulbach : — 

" Stiittgai-a, Nov. 12, 1846. 

" Deae good Madame Kaulbach, — 

" You were kind enough to wish for a few hues from me, 
and it gives me so much pleasure to send you these ' few lines ' 
that I sit down at once to write them. Perhaps you may not be 
able to read my handwriting, for, between ourselves, it is fearfully 

like that of Dr. K ; but Gasser, who so well understands 

everything that is wild — mind, I do not say ' mild ' but ' wild ' — 
will have the goodness to help you with it. 

" I hope and believe for certain, that you yourself know how 
pleasant it is for one in your house, and how happy one must find 
oneself there, and how everything with you is pleasant and 
enlivening. But I must tell you so plainly ; and must take this 
opportunity of telling you how truly grateful and beholden I feel 
towards you. I well knew, even during my stay in Munich, how 
much everything there pleased me, but I know it better still 
now." * 

It is touching to mark the warmth of grateful recognition so 
artlessly expressed in the still unfamiliar German, the grammatical 
construction of which bore traces, even here, of those idiomatic 
difficulties which drive so many foreigners to despair. But, in 
the language of the heart, peculiarities of idiom are unknown ; 
and it was in this language that Mdlle. Lind carried on her 
correspondence with her German friends. 

To Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, she wrote thus : — 

" Stuttgard, Nov. 12, 1846. 

"1 rank the Munich public quite certainly next to that of 

" The house is splendid ; though the size of it caused me, at 
first, so much anxiety, that I positively determined not to sing in 
it. The orchestra is excellent. 

"The Kaulbachs behave like parents to me. Enfin, all is 

* Translated from the original letter, by tlie kind permission of Madame 
von Kaulbach. 

1846.] SOUTH GERMANY. 245 

To her giiardiau, Judge Mimthe, she wrote, on the following 

day, in her own native Swedish :— 

" Stuttgard, Nov. 13, 184G. 

" Munich is a splendid place, and I am going there again, 
before I go on to Vienna. 

" All mj plans have been deranged by an engagement for the 
Italian Opera in London ; where I shall have no Grisi or other 
prima donna star to contend with, but shall be chiefly supported 
by Signor Lablache. 

" The manager of the Opera followed me everywhere ; so I 
WTote, for advice, to Felix Mendelssohn, who, knowing London 
thoroughly, and me too, told me that I ought by all means to go 
there, and that it would be extremely unwise for me if I did not 
do so. 

" Lumley, the manager, offered me, from the 1st of April, to the 
21st of August, 140,000 francs, besides lodgings, and a carriage, 
and this does not seem very bad. Xo one has been offered half 
so much. My fate has been greatly changed indeed. But, d^ 
not mention this to any one, or people will talk about 1,400,000 
millions ! 

" So, I shall not be much longer in Germany. I go to Vienna, 
most probably, next month ; and, in February, to Italy, for the 
sake of the language. Do you approve ? If I am successful in 
London, I shall l)e honourably entitled to go home at Christmas, 
and live the life that my soul is longing for, and be able to do 
good to those for whom I care." 

After fulfilling her engagement in Stuttgard, Mdlle. Lind 
proceeded to Carlsruhe ; where she sang three times. 

From Carlsruhe, she proceeded to Heidelberg ; where, on the 
5th of December, she gave a Concert, with such success, that, on 
reaching her temporary lodgings, she was greeted with a serenade, 
accompanied by a torchlight procession of students ; and, when 
she quitted the picturesque old town, on the following morning, 
its inhabitants expressed their thanks by presenting her with a 
poetical address, printed on a long narrow fillet of delicate sea- 
green satin, fringed, at each end, with gold. 

Proceeding thence to Mannheim, she sang, on the evening of 
the same day (Dec. G), in La Figlia del Reggimento ; and assisted, 
on the 7th, at a concert given by Mr. Kuhe. 

From Mannheim, she travelled to Nuremberg, where she sang, 
on the 9th of December, in La Sonnanilula, and, on the 11th, in 
La Figlia del Reggimento ; and, that nothing might be wanting to 

246 JENNY LIND. [bk. vl ch. i. 

render this provincial tour a remarkable one, the worthy burghers 
of that most quaint and beautiful of mediaeval cities — the birth- 
place of Albert Diirer, and Peter Yischer, and the cradle of those 
Arts of ornamental metal-work and priceless orfevcrie^ for which 
Germany was so famous in the Middle Ages — the worthy burghers 
of Nuremberg, descendants of the Merchant-Princes of the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and, in less princely lineage, from 
the Meistersinger who flourished under the leadership of the 
renowned Hans [kSachs, commemorated her visit, by striking a 
medal in her honour. 

From Nuremberg to its Art-sister, Augsburg — the birthplace 
of the great Fugger family, and the present home of many of its 
honourable descendants — the distance is but eighty-nine English 
miles ; and in Augsburg, she gave, on the 13th of December, 
the last concert at which she proposed to sing before her return 
to Munich. 

For the second visit to Munich the Operas chosen were, La 
FigUa del Reggimento, Don Juan, and Le Nozze di Figaro. In 
addition to these, there was a Concert for the Orchestra ; and a 
performance of the Creation, (also for the benefit of the Orchestra), 
on the 25th of December. 

It was another Christmas Day spent far away from home. 
But, if it lacked the blessing of home-associations and the simple 
pleasures of Swedish national observances, it was consecrated, in 
a special manner, to the highest interests of Art and the warmest 
sentiments of humanity. 

( 247 ) 



WiTHix a fortnight after her farewell performance of Haydn's 
Creation, at Munich, Mdlle. Lind was again hard at work in 
Vienna, where she arrived on the last day of the year 184G. 

Since her first visit a sad change had taken place. To her 
great sorrow — for she had learned sincerely to respect her — 
Madame Vivanot, in whose house she had lived so comfortably, 
was dead. She therefore chose for her residence some apartments 
annexed to the Theater an der Wien, and known as the Theater 
Gehdude. These she rented from Herr Pokorny ; and in these 
she remained until the end of her engagement. 

But in the meantime she had formed a closer intimacy still with 
the family of Herr Oberstabsarzt Professor Dr. von Jaeger, a 
physician of high reputation, whose daughter was her chosen 
friend, and to whose amiable wife she looked up as to a mother. 
With these dear friends, she spent all her free days during the 
season of 1847 ; and she afterwards spoke of this period as one 
of the happiest in her life. 

Of her experiences in Vienna, she wrote thus, to Madame Birch- 
Pfeiffer :— 

" I am living at Pokorny's ; for, only think ! poor Madame 
Vivanot, with whom I lived last year, is dead. It has grieved 
me terribly. I shall only stay here for this month. Unhappily, 
the Feldlager will be given later than I expected, and I shall only 
be able to take part in a few representations. I am the more 
sorry for this, because the Opera has now been made so very 
different, and my role has been greatly improved ! 

" Meyerbeer behaves to me like an angel. I cannot help being 
fond of him — and really am so. He takes an enormous amount 
of trouble with his work, and I hope it wiU succeed. 

" Things are going on better here at the theatre than they did 
last spring. But I am not so happy, here, as at Munich. I 

248 JENNY LIND. [dk. vi. ch. ii. 

dream of Mimicli. I return there from here, direct, to study 
Italian very quietly at the Kaulbachs ; for I am not going to 
Italy. That would take me too far out of my way ; and I have 
an excellent opportunity of studying Italian, with a true friend." * 

Meanwhile, Mdlle. Liud remained as great a favourite as ever 
with the public. The Opera chosen for her re-appearance, on the 
7th of January, 1847, was La Figlia del FiOfifjimento^ under its 
new German title, Marie, die Tochter des Regiments. 

The success of the new role was indescribable. The Opera 
became so popular, that, after the first few representations had 
taken place, a portrait of Mdlle. Lind, in the character of 
" Marie," published at Munich, found its way at Vienna into the 
house of every music-lover in the city. The print was so much 
superior, in every way, to the average portraits of dramatic artists 
"in character," that we have thought it better to present our 
readers with a copy of it, at once, than to reserve our illustration 
— as we had originally intended to do — until our notice of the 
production of the Opera in England. 

The Wiener Zeitung, which had always been more cautious in 
its expressions of praise than the Berlin newspapers, entirely 
forgot its reserve, on the present occasion. 

" Her song is the audible expression of her inner life," it said. 
" Her acting and singing melt into one another, and the beauty of 
the dramatic expression moves hand in hand with the nobility of 
the declamatory vocalisation. A voice so ideal, and so full of soul, 
a manner so earnest, such childlike naivete, such deep poetry, such 
perfect innocence of song, form a very rare manifestation in the 
world of Art. We find in Fraulein Jenny Lind's singing a 
fervour, a feeling, a spiritual life ; precious qualities, by means of 
which she ennobles the most insignificant details, and raises them 
to the highest level of yesthetic beauty. And it is precisely from 
her creative power of conception, her inspiration, and her sym- 
pathetic character, that this esthetic beauty springs." 

But the triumphs at the Theater an der ^Vien were not the 
only agreeable events by which the opening of the new year was 

It happened that, at this time. Dr. Robert and Madame Clara 
Schumann were staying at Vienna and giving concerts of deep 
artistic significance. And it will be readily understood that 
* HeiT Haiiser. 

[Tjenmssioii rf J.Aibi PutKsher.^tuiicL 

j(^y/9.^^^^ ^^-^y/ /// //^- r//r>^f///'> /'/ ^/fitt^^.^^. /J^ ^yt^^a^}r/?^y^t/^'. 


Mdlle. Lind did not neglect so happy an oppoilunity of practically 
expressing her thanks for the kindness Madame Schumann had 
shown her, at her own concert in Leipzig, in the previous spring. 

The three first concerts were over. At the fourth, and last, 
announced to take place on the 10th of January, Mdlle. Lind had 
offered to sing ; and the demand for tickets then so greatly 
increased the possible supply, that the room was crowded to 
suffocation. The concert was most successful. Madame Schu- 
mann played to perfection ; and the songs received additional 
lustre from her delightful accompaniments, with which those of 
Mendelssohn alone could be worthily compared. 

The reader cannot fail to be interested with the following 
extracts from the Diary she kept at this time : — • 

• *'1847. Safiirda//, Jem. 2. — Called early on Jenny Lind, who 
greeted me with a rerjuest to sing at my last Concert, whereat I 
was greatly delighted. She refused all thanks, telling me, over 
and over again, that she looked upon it as an obligation ; and 
that, besides that, she esteemed it an honour to sing at my 

" Wedjipsda//, Jan. C. — Jenny Lind called on us for rehearsal. 
She came earlier than was arranged ; and, as she did not find 
us at home, she entertained herself with my two children, whom 
we found upon her lap when we returned. She is a dear creature, 
full of soul, whom I like better and better, the more I see of her. 

" Sundat/, Jan. 10. — Gave my fourth and last Concert, which 
was full to crushing (zian Erdriiclren roll), so that many people 
could get no places at all. Jenny Lind sang wonderfully. One 
can never forget such achievements. 

"• Mondaij, Jan. 11. — We called on Jenny Lind, who, immedi- 
ately upon our entrance, called out, ' Will you not give another 
Concert, and let me sing at it ? ' We stayed rather a long time 
with her ; and I sat as if rooted to my place. I am so fond of her. 
She is for me the warmest noblest being that I have yet found 
among Artistes — and how can I ever forget her ? One must 
know her, and know her thoroughly, to love her as I do. We 
talked about many things, including Stockholm, when she made 
me promise that I would stay with her, when I came there, and 
that I would not go unless she was there herself, so that she 
might take part in my Concerts. It was very nice of her. I 
could have hugged her all the time ! " * 

* Translated from the original German, by the kind permission of 
Madame Schumann. 

250 JENNY LIND. [bk. vi. ch. ii. 

There were many other Concerts, during the winter. A 
private one, at the house of the Eussian Grand Duchess ; a soiree, 
given by the Archduchess Sophie, the mother of the present 
Emperor of Austria, and another, given by the Empress, the 
Consort of the Emperor Ferdinand. The members of the Im- 
perial family had, from the first, shown all honour to the talented 
" Guest," and received her with marked attention ; and they 
always heard her sing with every sign of unaffected pleasure. 

Besides assisting at the Court performances, Mdlle. Lind sang 
at a concert given by the little Wilhelmina Neruda — now Lady 
Halle — who, though then little more than six-and-a-half years 
old, had already made a great reputation, in Vienna, as a child- 
violinist ; and at a later performance, the entire receipts of which 
were distributed, in equal shares, between the Kimhrspital, or 
Children's Hospital, and the Kleinldnderhewahranstalt, or Home 
for Little Children, for both of which the results were most 

While these events were in progress, Mendelssohn wrote to 
her thus : — 

" Leipzig, Feb. 19, 1847. 

" It is a long time since we have spoken to each other, my 
dear Fniulein. Why I must begin my letter thus, and why my 
heart felt so heavy, when Dr. Schumann brought me your letter — 
delayed since the 20th of last month — I will some day tell you, in 
detail, by word of mouth, 

" To-day I have before all things, a favour to ask of you. You 
will think this a great bore : for which reason I come down upon 
it, like a sledge-hammer — seeing that I can in no wise let you 
off it. 

" When your journey to England was in question, you once 
showed me confidence enough to ask my opinion ; and, in con- 
nection with this, I have now something on my mind. 

" In your last letter but one, you say : — ' Lumley takes Bunn's 
contract wholly upon himself : that I have in niifhu/.' Is it 
asking too much, if I beg you, as soon as you have a moment to 
spare, to tell me where this stands written by Lumley ? i.e. to 
send me a copy of the words in which he pledges himself to take 
over the contract, and to let me see whether these words stand in 
your engagement with Lumley, or somewhere else ? 

" It seems to me, now, as if I saw you vexed at this request — 
but do not be so. I feel as if I should not have done my duty 
properly, if I had not asked you to send me this copy, and then, 


after knowing all about it, given my opinion more ani^3lj. 
Beforehand, I cannot give it ; and, if you will allow yourself to 
be vexed at my importunity, I tell you that you yourself are in 
fault, since, by telling me so much, you gave me the riglit to 
enquire farther — made it, in fact, my duty to do so. 

" A few days ago, Herr Arnemann was here, and we talked the 
whole thing over ; but no one understands these matters more 
exactly than myself, for I have often had to do with the English, 
and, for that very reason, I should not like, to say anything 
incorrectly or by halves ; and, for that very reason, et mfera, et 

" Lumley began to send me the lihretto for the Opera, barely 
three weeks ago. It seems to me impossible to get the music for 
such a subject ready for the stage, in time for this season — that is 
to say, by May, at the latest — and I am in doubt as to Avhether I 
had better begin it, and get on as far as I can, or not begin it at 
all, since, as I said before, I feel that it will be impossible for me 
to finish it. There has already been much vexation, in connection 
with this — but I will tell you all about it, viva voce. 

" To Madame Birch-Pfeiffer I have — as I had already resolved 
— written no more. But she wrote to me, lately, quite unex- 
pectedly, to say that, for many reasons, to her most bitter sorrow^ 
she could not entertain the idea of writing a lihretto for me. To 
this, however, I have not replied : and I think we are now of one 

" This letter is like a room in which people have been playing 
practical jokes, and turned all the furniture upside down. It is a 
great bore to have to set everything straight, and to put it into 
its right place. But it must be done, all the same ; and only after 
that can one live comfortably there again. Do not weary yourself 
to make this clearance. 

" It is all well with us here at home, thank God ! and we all 
think of you every day. Breitkopf and Hiirtel have just sent me 
the first copy of a new quartette, by Hermann Wichmann, that 
they are now publishing. A few months ago I was staying in 
"Wichmann's house again, and was much pleased with your portrait, 
by Magnus, which is now there, instead of yourself. 

" I have often and often thought over what you more than once 
said to me about Leipzig, when we were on the Rhine. I believe 
you were right ; and, sooner or later, I shall have to follow your 

" My servant, to whom I was as much attached as you to your 
Annette, has died in our house, after a long illness. I was called 
up in the night ; and, just as I came to him, he died. Since then, 
I have never been able to get over the moment. 

252 JENNY LIND. [bk. yi. en. ii. 

^' Joachim played splendidly at the concert, yesterday. He is a 
first-rate fellow. Apart from tliis, the music does not sound very 
well here, this winter ; it is a little rough." 

We shall, however, dismiss these subjects for the present, and 
proceed to the description of a new triumph, which produced no 
small amount of excitement at the 'Theater cm cler Wien. 

( 253 ) 




As early as the 2ncl of December, 184G, Meyerbeer had requested, 
and obtained, from the King of Prussia, two months' leave of 
absence, for the purpose of bringing out a revised version of Das 
Feldlager in Schlesien in the Austrian capital ; and on the 18th of 
February, 1847, it was performed there for the first time, with 
certain changes in the lihrrito intended for the purpose of ren- 
dering it more acceptable to a Viennese audience, and under the 
new title of VielJca. Its success was triumphant. It had an 
immediate run of thirteen nights, interrupted only by a perform- 
ance of the Creation, for the benefit of the orchestra ; and the 
famous trio for Yielka and the two flutes — afterwards transferred 
to UEtoile du Nord, of which it formed the chief attraction — - 
Decame at once extremely popular. 

Yet, so dissatisfied was Mdlle. Lind, that, when the last flowers 
had been strown, and the echo of the last burst of applause had 
died away, she left the stage in despair at what she considered 
an ignoble failure, and with the full conviction that Meyerbeer 
himself would reproach her with having done injustice to his 
beautiful Opera. 

"\Ye have already said, that, among her most intunate friends in 
Yienna, during the season of 1847, were Professor von Jaeger, 
and his wife and daughter, at whose house she was accustomed 
to spend most of her free days, at this period. 

The last-named lady, Friiulein Auguste von Jaeger, remembers 
the first performance of Vielka perfectly. At the fall of the 
curtain, she and her mother hurried to Mdlle. Lind's di'essing- 
room to congratulate her on her new triumph. They found her 
in the white robe in which, as a purified spirit, she had just 
ascended to the skies ; surrounded by the flowers which had been 
thrown upon the stage and afterwards brought to her room ; and 

'■^o-ir JENNY LIND. [bk. yi. ch. hi. 

bathed iu tears of penitence for her " im2)erfect singing," which 
had " spoiled the Opera." 

While they were endeavouring to console her, some one knocked 
at the door which she had locked. It was Meyerbeer, begging 
for admittance. In a voice broken by sobs, she cried through the 
closed door, " Oh ! Herr Director ! forgive me for singing so 
badly, and spoiling your Opera ! " 

" But, you have sung divinely ! " said Meyerbeer. " It was all 
splendid. I have come to thank you ! to thank you ! " 

But she refused to be comforted. Whatever Meyerbeer may 
have thought, she had fallen short of her own ideal. She could 
neither satisfy herself, nor endure the satisfaction of others. 

On the evening of this memorable first performance, a high 
compliment was paid to her, by the presentation of a beautiful 
medal, in the name of the Art lo\ ers of Yienna. This act of 
recognition, however, was not the last of the season. 

On the 28th of March, 1847, Mdlle. Lind was presented, by 
command of the Emperor Ferdinand, with an official diploma, 
appointing her Kammersdngerin to His Imperial Majesty. The 
document was signed by the High Chamberlain, Count Moritz von 
Dietrichstein, and was couched in terms which not only recognised 
the talents of the Artist, but made special allusion to the " noble 
and philanthropic feeling " with which she had dedicated those 
talents to " the promotion of benevolent designs." 

Simultaneously with these tokens of honour and respect VielJca 
continued to maintain an uninterrupted run, at the Theater an 
der Wien. The last performance of it was the last but one of the 
season ; and on the last night of all — April the 7th — Mdlle. Lind 
sang in Nonna, for her own benefit, with the brilliant success 
which has been so often described that it is unnecessary to 
recapitulate the details on the present occasion. 

These events, however, are connected rather with the history of 
the Vienna season of 1847, than with the more intimate life of 
the subject of our present memoir. 

With reference to the latter, we prefer leaving Mdlle. Lind to 
speak in her own words. The following letter to Madame Wich- 
mann will show that Madame Schumann's affection for her was 
warmly returned : — • 

"Vienna, Jan. 20, 1847. 

" I know so well your love and self-denying kindness for 

1847.] THE SHADOW. 255 

me, that I do not for a moment fear that jou will be vexed if I 
send someone to yonr house. Is it not so ? You will not be 
angry with me ? 

" I mean the Schumanns. 

" You know, of course, that her talent is altogether splendid ; 
for, of course you have often heard of her as Clara Wieck. They 
are two such excellent and noble, really noble persons, that they 
will give you great pleasure. Please, dearly beloved, receive these 
two dear people kindly, and as friends, for your own sake, and for 
mine. The wife is very sensitive, and you will see that she is 
quite an exceptional woman. He is a composer j;/^/m cVfsprit, and 
modest to the last degree. I asked them if they had any acquaint- 
ances in Berlin ; and they seemed to me to have no real ones. 
And then it was that I thought of you ; and you may well know 
how grateful I shall be. 

" Ah, yes ! When shall I see you again ? Mon Dieu ! This 
longing for rest grows upon me, almost beyond all measure ; but 
time passes quickly, and no mortal will be so glad as I, when I am 
but free." 

The next letter is written three weeks later :— 

"Vienna, Feb. 13, 1847. 

" What can you be thinking about ! I, going to Paris ! 
Who could have told you that ? And how could I have enter- 
tained such an idea, without telling you of it ! 

" No, dearest Amalia. I am not only not going to Paris, but 
it seems as if I shall not even go to London. 

" Bunn will not give up the contract ; and I cannot go there 
unless he does so, for he actually threatens to put me in prison ! ! ! 
I tell you, Amalia, I should be wild with joy, if I had not to go 
there ! Mon Dieu ! Suppose it fell out so ! 

" They have made me all possible offers from Paris ; but I did 
not need a moment to think it over. 

" The stage I will leave — and I shall then want nothing else in 
the world. 

" I am quite well ; and it goes more than well with me here. 
Das FeldJager is not yet ready ; but it is to be given next week, 
and it goes very well. The Opera will certainly create a furore 
here in Vienna. 

" I rejoice that it gives me so much pleasm'e to hear of Yiardot 
Garcia's success in Berlin. I have never been envious for a 
moment. Tell Taubert so : he thinks me rather weak on that 

256 JENNY LIND. [bk. vi. ch. hi. 

Swiftly, yefc stealthily, the shadow was drawing near : and a 
(lark and baleful shadow it must have seemed, to one who did not 
know how utterly unreal it was. 

Deliberate efforts were made to persuade Mdlle. Lind that, if 
she came to England, she would be put in prison. There is strong 
evidence to prove that she believed this. And the belief teiTified 
her. To a letter written by her about this time to Mendelssohn, 
he answered thus : — • 

" Leipzig, March 14, 1847. 

" My dear Frauleix, 

" You well know how glad I am, when I receive a letter 
from you. But, your last contained certain things that make me 
feel very uncomfortable, or rather, the whole letter does so. You 
say, in one place, that you feel sad, and restless, and cannot sleep ; 
;i.nd apart from this, the letter seems to me agitated throughout : 
and this it is that troubles me. 

" I therefore write these few lines to you, to-day ; though it is 
difficult to converse, and give advice, at the distance of so many 
miles, and with so many days' journey between us. Who knows 
that you may not have forgotten it all, and become quite cheerful 
again, by the time that this reaches you ? And it will be better, 
so. For you can then leave it unread, and its purpose will be 
answered all the same. 

" But if you are still restless, and out of tune, when this arrives, 
and, if the English business is to blame for this, I entreat you, my 
dear Fraulein, do not let your reasoning power, otherwise so 
clever and natural, be troubled by the horrid outcry on this side 
and on that, and all the tumults, and all the wretchedness of it. 
For, after all, the great advantage of a good conscience here below 
is, that it is the one thing of which no one can rob one ; that, 
under its guidance, one is led through all the quarrelling and 
fighting on the way, and attains the goal unhurt ; and others 
w^onder at one's courage, and one's wisdom, and Heaven knows 
what, while it is just the simple and honest good conscience alone 
that works all the wonder ; and so it has always been with you, 
and will be, again and again. 

" I confess that, after all you have told me, I would rather that 
you had not promised Lumley to go to England ; and, especially, 
I would rather that you had not offered Bunn such a sum as you 
tell me, for the contract. I am very sorry indeed that you have 
done this ; but, since you liave done it, the thing is settled. And 
here, again, it is settled for the best, if only you do not let your 
rest and peace of mind be destroyed through it ; for you well 
know^ that you meant rightly and nobly. 

1847.] THE SHADOW. 257 

" Moreover, I know that jou will have warmer friends, and a 
heartier welcome, and a greater triumph, in England, than you 
have perhaps had anywhere else, and that is saying a great deal. 
And I know that I adhere to every word that I have ever said to 
you about it, in spite of Bunn, and Co vent Garden, and their 
letters, and the newspaper articles that have at last become almost 
too laughable. But I hope most sincerely that Bunn, and Covent 
Garden — for, for the moment, they are one — will not have the 
face to accept your offer, and to redeem the contract from you ; 
for what is worth more to them than any amount of money is, 
not that you should sing for them, but that you should not sing 
for Lumley ; and therein lies the whole turmoil. 

" Still, 1 am quite sure that you will just simply do what is 
right ; and, resigning yourself to the consequences, be very glad 
indeed that you have done right. Of what is politic, and clever, 
and exceedingly astute, I know nothing ; and you, also, will not 
care to know anything. And, as to what could, or should have 
been done, that is really not the question — if any question there 
be. And, apart from all this, what it is that disquiets and 
frightens you T cannot imagine. You know well, that you mean 
to do your duty ; and you may trust me so far as this, that it is 
very seldom indeed that the performance of a duty leads to such 
happiness and such friends as are awaiting you in England. You 
would, I am persuaded, behave just in the same way, if a host of 
enemies were waiting for you ; but, believe me, they will be friends. 
You will be borne on the shoulders of a whole nation — which 
is a nation indeed ! — and, in the end, you yourself will rejoice 
in it. 

" I am very unselfish in advising you thus ; for it appears to 
me very improbable that we shall meet in England. If I go there 
at all this year — which is still uncertain — I shall go from here in 
the beginning of April, and remain there only till the beginning 
of May. And you will hardly be in London before the beginning 
of May ? 

" I had pictured it all to myself so nicely : to show you some of 
my favourite places, and make you acquainted with two of my 
very particular friends there. But, if this may not be, we shall 
meet again soon, somewhere or other ; and I am confident that 
we shall meet again unaltered." 

In truth, Mdlle. Lind's terror was utterly groundless. But for 
her it had a fatal significance ; and she could not be persuaded 
that she had, in reality, nothing to fear, though she was ready to 
purchase her immunity by an act of almost Quixotic generosity 


258 JENNY LIND. [bk vi. ch. hi. 

— an offer of no less than £2000, for the revocation of the con- 
tract — which offer Mr. Bnnn refused to accept. 

This, then, was the state of the controversy, when Mdlle. Lind 
sang her last song, at Vienna. 

While, on one side of the Channel, she was tormented with fears 
for her own personal safety, Mr. Lumley, on the other, was 
racked with anxiety, concerning the fate of Her Majesty's Theatre, 
which was literally hanging in the balance. Who shall say 
which of the two sufferers endured the greatest amount of mental 
torture ? Over which of them did the shadow brood most 
darkly ? 

( 250 ) 




Her ^lajesty's Theatre opened for the season on Tuesday, the 
16th of February, 1847, amidst a sea of doubts and perplexities 
which might well have appalled the most courageous impresario. 

Though it forms no part of our present purpose to record the 
disastrous cabals and suicidal intrigues that seem, unhappily, in- 
separable from the life of the theatrical manager " behind the 
scenes," it is necessary, for the clear understanding of our narra- 
tive, that the reader should be made acquainted with the results, 
at least, of the long series of disagreements which rendered the 
government of Her Majesty's Theatre so peculiarly difficult, at the 
eventful period of which we are now treating. 

For many years past, the Lyric Stage had been ruled with a rod 
of iron, by a band of artists of world-wide reputation, who have 
been not inaptly described as the vieille garde of the Opera. 

The names of Mesdames Grisi and Persian i, of Signori Rubini, 
Tamburini, and Lablache, had become so justly celebrated, through- 
out the length and breadth of Europe, and their influence had 
been so firmly established in London, Paris, and St. Petersburg, 
that no manager, however despotic, could resist their supreme will 
and pleasure with impunity. 

Against this state of things, Mr. Lumley protested, with an 
energy that did him infinite credit, though he had to pay dearly 
enough, in the long run, for his determination. 

A disagreement had long been impending, between the manage- 

260 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. l 

ment, and Signor (afterwards Sir Michael) Costa, who had held 
the responsible office of Conductor, at Her Majesty's Theatre, for 
fully sixteen years. The dispute reached its climax in 1846 ; 
Signor Costa resigned his appointment ; and the vacant post was 
offered to, and duly accepted by Mr. Balfe ; whereupon the vieille 
garde, feeling themselves attacked in the person of their chef 
d''orchestre, seceded in a body from the company, and, Avith one 
notable exception, refused to renew their engagements. Signor 
Lablache — no less distinguished for his high sense of honour 
and integrity than for his magnificent voice and splendid artistic 
intelligence and bearing — alone remained faithful to the theatre 
which had been the scene of Ms most brilliant triumphs. Not 
only did he refuse to join the coalition ; but, from first to last, he 
did his best to prevent a rupture between the manager and his 
company. His kind offices, however, were thrown away. Signor 
Rubini had already retired from the Stage, and was, therefore, in 
no wise concerned in the quarrel; but, Mesdames Grisi and Persiani, 
and Signori Mario and Tamburini, threw up all connection with 
the "old house"; and, on Tuesday, the 6th of April, 1847, 
inaugurated the first season of the " Eoyal Italian Opera," at 
Covent Garden, with a magnificent performance of Rossini's 
Semir amide. 

It must be confessed, that, for the manager of Her Majesty's 
Theatre, the situation was sufficiently embarrassing. 

Happily for the season of 1847, Mr. Lumley's energy was never 
so well displayed as Avhen he found himself in face of an 
apparently insurmountable difficulty. The threatening cloud — 
sombre enough, in the first instance, and growing daily darker 
and darker — was perhaps necessary for the full display of his 
managerial capabilities. Still, the prospect was very gloomy 

The season had opened on the IGth of February, with Donizetti's 
La Faiwrita, in which the principal parts were sustained by 
Madame Sanchioli, and Signori Gardoni, Superchi, and Bouche — 
the three last entirely new to the audience at Her Majesty's 
Theatre. But, these attractions offered in competition with the 
brilliant performances at Covent Garden were quite insufficient to 
meet the pressing need. The only hope of the management lay in 
the first appearance of Jenny Lind. 

Difficult as the situation was, no one for a moment doubted that 


the appearance of the new 'prima donna, at this critical moment, 
would save the theatre. Signor Lablache, whose judgment was 
not to be despised, had strongly urged the management to engage 
her ; and, some months previously, had addressed the following 
letter on the subject to Mr. Lumley. 

" Naples, October 12, 1846. 

" Dear Mr. Lumley, — I learn, with much regret, from your 
last letter, that Mdlle. Lind finds some difficulty in coming to 
London. It is a great misfortune that this excellent artiste 
neither knows London, nor the exceptional position of your 
theatre for the coming year ; for, she will never find a more 
favourable moment for her interests, or her reputation. Try, 
then, to decide her ; and make her understand that she will find 
herself surrounded by brothers, and friends, and not by intriguing 
artistes, as is, unfortunately, too often the case. Her success is 
certain. I answer to you for it ; and you, who know me, will 
understand all that I am prepared to do, myself, to aid it. It is 
not only her immense reputation as an artiste, that gives me this 
conviction ; but, the good that is said of her, as a woman. I tell 
you, frankly, that I have been, as you know, the friend of Pasta, 
and the friend of Malibran ; and, that I shall be very proud to be 
able to say : ' I am the friend of Lind.' If you think it necessary, 
I will write a letter to her, myself ; and, if she knows me, she 
cannot fail to put faith in my words. Forgive me, my dear Mr. 
Lumley, if I meddle with your affairs ; but, you know my device : 
' Art, before all things.' Do not forget me ; and remember that 
you have ever in me, 

" Your wholly devoted 

" L. Lablache." * 

In the meantime, the position of the manager grew daily more 
and more distressing ; but, as was his wont, he proved himself equal 
to the occasion. Leaving the actual government of the theatre in 
the hands of a trusted subordinate, he secretly quitted his post, 
between the acts of the Opera, on the last night before the theatre 
closed for the Easter recess ; hurried away, in his evening dress, 
to catch the train for Calais, with barely half an hour to spare 
for all the preparations needed for his long journey ; travelled, 
night and day, until he found himself face to face with the lady 
of whom he was in search, at Vienna ; and, while those most deeply 
interested in the success of the scheme were driven almost to the 

* The original letter, written in French, was sent to Mdlle. Lind by Mr. 
Lumley, who also forwarded a copy of it to Mendelssohn, 

262 ^ JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. i. 

verge of despair, he had the satisfaction, on Friday, the 16th of 
April, of returning to his duties in London, bringing with him 
the joyful intelligence that Mdlle. Lind was actually on her way 
to England, and that her arrival might be confidently expected 
on the following day. 

While the subscribers to the Opera were anxiously awaiting her 
appearance, another section of the musical world was thrown into 
equal excitement by that of Mendelssohn, who, in response to an 
invitation from the Sacred Harmonic Society, came to London, for 
the tenth and last time, on the 12th of April, for the purpose 
of conducting four performances of his new Oratorio, Elijah^ at 
Exeter Hall. 

On the afternoon of Saturday, the 17th of April, 1847, the 
great composer, knowing nothing of the negotiations which had 
been pending since the beginning of the week, called, by merest 
accident, on Mrs. Grote, Avho had invited Mdlle. Lind to be her 
guest at her town residence in Eccleston Street, until the house 
provided for her at the expense of the management was ready for 
her occupation. 

Delighted at the news he heard, Mendelssohn was easily 
persuaded to stay until his friend arrived, though the delay seemed 
interminable, as he and his hostess walked up and down the 
western side of Belgrave Square, keeping the door of the house in 
Eccleston Street from time to time in view, and eagerly watching 
for the appearance of the party. Their patience was severely 
tried ; but, after waiting three-quarters of an hour, they were 
rewarded by the sight of two four-wheeled cabs, heavily laden 
with luggage ; and, hastening to the door, they lost no time in 
welcoming their friend to the country in which she was destined, 
ere long, to win a reputation more brilliant and lasting than that 
attained by any other singer of the period. 

Mdlle. Lind " looked scared and bewildered ; " but brightened 
visibly under the influence of the hearty welcome with which she 
was greeted. The tired travellers were promptly refreshed. 
Mendelssohn reluctantly took leave of the party, after a few 
minutes' conversation ; and, later in the evening, after an hour 
or two of the rest she so sorely needed, the honoured guest 
accompanied her host and hostess to their box at Her Majesty's 
Theatre^No. 48, on the Grand Tier. 

A few minutes after the arrival of the party, Mr. Lumley 


visited the box ; and, later in the evening, Signor Lablache came to 
pay his respects to the great artiste whose friendship he had so 
earnestly desired to gain. This naturally attracted attention ; and, 
after a little time, every inquisitive eye in the opposite boxes, every 
glance from the stalls, every lorgnette in the vast auditorium^ was 
directed towards the box in which Mdlle. Lind was seated. She 
seemed, at first, very much disturbed. Moreover, the size of the 
salle — so much larger than that of the Opera-Houses at Berlin 
and "Vienna — alarmed her seriously, though the manager assured 
her of the well-known fact, that its acoustic properties were perfect. 
However, as the evening wore on, she seemed to gain courage, 
and evidently took great interest in the performance, to which she 
listened attentively throughout ; once whispering to her hostess, " I 
think I can do as well as that, and perhaps a little better." * 

A few days after this, Mr. and Mrs. Grote gave a dinner-party, 
for the purpose of introducing their visitor to a few artistic friends 
who were particularly desirous to meet her. Among the guests 
were Mendelssohn, Lablache, and Mr. Lumley. In the evening, 
Mendelssohn sat down to the piano, and, after improvising for a 
few minutes, asked Mdlle. Lind to sing ^ Auf Flugeln cles Gesanges^ 
the song in which she had created so profound a sensation in 
Leipzig. She willingly complied; but, from sheer nervousness, 
broke down no less completely than she had done when singing 
' Perclie non ho ' to Garcia, in Paris. She afterwards explained, 
that it was the presence of Lablache that terrified her ; though he 
was of course quite unconscious of this, and, with his never-failing 
good-nature, endeavoured to bring back her courage by singing 
some of the amusing Neapolitan * Canzonette ' in which his grace- 
ful humour was inimitable. Mendelssohn then played again ; and, 
afterwards, Mdlle. Lind, recovering her confidence, sang one of 
her characteristic Swedish melodies ; displaying her peculiar talent 
with such success, that the company were delighted, and Signor 
Lablache expressed his admiration with a warmth which rendered 
all doubt as to its sincerity impossible. This was followed by 
some other songs, sung with equal effect ; and the success of the 
" private hearing " was felt to be complete. 

Still, the inexplicable dread of a public performance at the 
theatre remained as great as ever. Though Mendelssohn called, 
almost daily, to encourage his friend, she could neither be 
* From Mrs. Grote's MS. Memoir. 

204 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. i. 

persuaded to make arrangements for a rehearsal, nor to seek an 
interview with the conductor — Mr. Balfe ; and, at last, she con- 
fessed to her hostess that her terrors were unconquerable, and 
begged her to intercede with Mr. Lumley for a withdrawal of 
the contract. The blow fell heavily ; but, the manager wisely 
determined to wait ; hoping that more mature consideration 
would induce her to recognise the necessity for fulfilling her 
engagement. And, the event proved that he was right. 

One day, soon afterwards, when the ladies were driving together, 
Mdlle. Lind asked how the Opera was getting on. " Not at all," 
was the reply : " it is completely at a standstill. No one will take 
either a box, or a stall, in the present state of uncertainty. The 
public are waiting for your appearance ; and, in the meantime, 
the manager is losing money every night." 

The directness of this answer, every word of which was strictly 
and literally true, seemed to take her by surprise. She sat silent, 
until the carriage stopped at her friend's door ; and then, before 
alighting, said to her, " If you see Mr. Lumley to-night, please 
tell him that I will attend at the theatre on Monday next." It 
happened, however, that she herself met Mr. Lumley, that 
evening, at a dinner-party at the house of Baron Eehusen, the 
Swedish Minister, and was thus able to deliver her own message 
to the delighted manager. The rehearsal took place on the day 
appointed ; and, from that moment, all hesitation was at an 
end. She entered, with the deepest interest, into the arrange- 
ments made for her approaching dehut. At the rehearsals, which 
she attended with never-failing punctuality, she delighted the 
conductor, and excited the admiration of all who were associated 
with her in the performance, whether on the stage, or in the 
orchestra. She studied her part — quite new to her in the Italian 
language — with untiring diligence. She had chosen the part of 
" Alice," in Roherto il Diavolo, for her first appearance. It was 
one of her most successful roles, and she felt that the circum- 
stances connected with her first entrance upon the crowded stage, 
in the dress of a Pilgrim, with no important passages to sing 
until after the gradual departure of the chorus, would give her 
time to collect her energies, if she felt in any degree nervous. 
Indeed, it would have been impossible for her to have chosen an 
Opera better fitted for the occasion ; and all was made ready for 
her appearance, on the 4th of May. 

2G5 ) 



The excitement of the public, when the fateful day arrived, 
exceeded anything that had ever been witnessed by the oldest 
frequenter of Her Majesty's Theatre. 

From an early horn* in the afternoon, the colonnade in the 
Haymarket was thronged by a crowd of ladies and gentlemen, in 
evening dress, waiting patiently to secure good places in the pit. 
The file of carriages seemed interminable. When the doors were 
opened, at half -past seven, the crush was terrific. Ladies were 
faii'ly carried off their feet, and pressed against the barriers with 
a force which neither they nor their protectors had power to 
resist. Xeither in the pit, nor even in the " three-shilling 
gallery," could " standing-room " be found, at any price, for the 
disappointed applicants who continued to besiege the doors ; and 
many of those who had succeeded in effecting an entrance were 
Avedged into corners from which the stage was invisible. The 
Queen, the Prince Consort, the Queen Dowager, and the Duchess 
of Kent, occupied the Royal boxes, to the left of the stage. 
Mendelssohn sat in the stalls, with his friend, Mr. Grote. And 
every corner of the house was crowded with the most brilliant 
representatives of the talent, the fashion, and the wealth of 

When the curtain rose, the excitement was indescribable ; and, 
a few minutes afterwards, Mdlle. Lind — dragged on the stage, in 
her pilgrim's dress, by the attendants of Roberto — was received 
with the burst of applause which, on the Continent, is usually 
delayed until the debutante has won her crown. She seemed both 
affected and surprised ; but soon recovered her self-possession. 

Fortunately, for some little time after the entrance of " Alice," 
the action is chiefly carried on by " Roberto " and the chorus. 
This gave Mdlle. Lind time to collect herself ; and when, left 

266 JENNY LIND. [bk. \n. ch. ii. 

alone with the Prince, she told him that his mother was no more 
— ' Concesso, ah I non tl fia, ne udirla, ne piu vederla. Ah ! non 
2nu rive ! ' the expression of ineffable sadness with which she 
invested the touching words produced, from every part of the 
house, signs of admiration so genuine, that, it was clear to all 
present that her reputation was already assured. 

From this point, to the final descent of the curtain, the per- 
formance was a succession of triumphs. The most experienced 
critics were taken by surprise, by the new prima donna's con- 
ception of the part of "Alice," exceeding, in poetic beauty, no 
less than in genuine dramatic power, the finest impersonation of 
the character that had hitherto been presented on the stage. 
All the stronger emotions successively called forth by the develop- 
ment of the varied situations, no less than the subordinate traits 
needed to unite them into a consistent whole, were delineated with 
a truthfulness that carried everything before it, reaching its natural 
climax in the Terzetto which immediately precedes the Finale to 
the Fifth Act — a scene which Mdlle. Lind made peculiarly her own. 
Many years afterwards, the writer ventured to remind Madame 
Goldschmidt that she had sung this passage with an expression 
with which he had never heard it invested by any other artist. 
" How could I tell how I sang it ? " she said ; " I stood at the 
man's right hand, and the Fiend at his left, and all I could think 
of Avas, how to save him." 

It was this marvellous power of forgetting herself in the 
character she impersonated, that formed the basis of all her 
dramatic success. She once told Mr. Nassau Senior, who had 
questioned her on the subject, that it appeared to her a sort of 
fraud, if, when she was [pretending to be " Alice," or " Lucia," 
she was thinking of herself. " I scarcely ever think of the effect 
I am producing," she said ; " and, if the thought does sometimes 
come across me, it spoils my acting. It seems to me, when I act, 
that I feel fully all the emotions of the character I represent. I 
fancy myself — in fact, believe myself — to be in her situation ; 
and never think of the audience." 

It is interesting to compare these remarks with the story — told 
on page 49 — of a sentimental chatterer who once asked Mdlle. 
Lind what she was thinking about, while she clung to the way- 
side Cross, in the famous scene illustrated in our wood-cut. She 
4id not even condescend to explain how completely she had been. 




absorbed by the fears of the terrified maiden she was impersonat- 
ing ; but coldly answered, " I suppose I was thinking of my old 
bonnet." And it is doubtful, to this day, whether her interlocutor 

did not entirely fail to perceive the withering scorn ^vhich under- 
lay the answer, and take it cm grand serieux. 

When the Opera was over, the Queen, who had repeatedly 
manifested her extreme satisfaction during the evening, expressed 

268 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. en. ii. 

her admiration to Mr. Lumley, in a tone and manner that showed 
how deep an impression had been made npon her. "What a 
beautiful singer ! " " What an actress ! " " How charming ! " 
" How delightful ! " These were the exclamations that fell from 
the lips of Her Majesty, " whom," said the delighted manager, 
" I had never before seen thus moved to enthusiasm." * 

In describing this interesting conversation with Her Majesty, 
we have been careful to repeat the exact words used by Mr. 
Lumley himself. But we have more to say. 

From a source of the highest authority,t we are enabled to 
confirm his account of the deep impression produced upon Her 
Majesty. The qualities of Mdlle. Lind's voice, at once delicate 
and powerful, round, soft, flexible, the charm of her appearance, 
her touching natural acting, and the grace of her movements, 
were all keenly appreciated by this accomplished musician and 
sensitive critic. Every one was struck by Mdlle. Lind's acting 
of the scene with Bertram, where she clung to the Cross as a 
Divine safeguard ; but, the beautiful impulse, unnoticed by many, 
under which she fell down on her knees, during the concluding 
chorus, to give thanks for Roberto's safety, did not escape the 
observation of the Queen, and drew from Her Majesty an ex- 
pression of warm admiration. 

The whole performance, indeed, called forth one long-sustained 
ovation. Nothing was left to be desired. There could be no 
fear for the future, now, whatever attractions the rival company 
might put forth. The management was saved ; for the triumph 
was as lasting as it was complete. 

On the following day, the leading London newspaper criticised 
the performance in terms which showed an intelligent and 
thoroughly artistic appreciation of its merits. 

*' If our expectations were great, we must say that they were 
more than realised. The delicious quality of the organ — the rich 
gushing tone — was something entirely new and fresh. The 
auditors did not know what to make of it. They had heard 
singers over and over again, but here, that wondrous thing, a 
new sensation, was actually created. The sustained notes, 
swelling with full richness, and fading down to the softest jji an o, 

* Lumley's * Bemtniscences of the Opera.' (London, 1864, p. 185.) 
t Notes graciously furnislied to us from Her Majesty's Diary, of wliich 
we have gratefully availed ourselves in subsequent parts of this Book. 

1847.] THE TKIUMPH. 269 

without losing one iota of their quality, being delicious when 
loud, delicious when whispered, dwelt in the public ear, and 
reposed in the public heart. The shake, mezza voce, with which 
she concluded the pretty air, ' Quand jp quittais la Normandie^ 
was perfectly wonderful from its rapidity and equality. This air 
was rapturously encored, with the most enthusiastic waving of 
hats and handkerchiefs. Even the way in which she uttered the 
first two or three notes of her Romance, ' Va dit-elle^ so com- 
pletely took the audience by surprise, that they interrupted her 
progress, and forced her to stop, by their tumultuous applause. 

"And the impression she made as an actress was no less 
profound. There is no conventionality about her — no seizing 
the strong points of a character, and letting the rest drop. She 
acts thoroughly, with a perfect naturalness, and an infinite variety 
of gesture. All seems dictated by the moment, and yet all is 
graceful. There is no stereotyped form for love, or anger, or 
Avhat not ; but all has the impulse of immediate inspiration. As 
striking points, we may mention the clinging to the Cross Avhen 
attacked by Bertram, and the expression of rapture, just before 
the final descent of the curtain, when she feels that she has saved 
Ptobert from perdition. Her whole conception of Alice is a fine 
histrionic study, of which every feature is equally good. 

" On the fall of the curtain, the bm'st of applause showed that 
the anticipations of the audience had been more than satisfied. 
Three distinct times was Mdlle. Lind called upon the stage ; and 
it was with a certain hearty ' one cheer more ' sort of feeling 
which we have never seen so strongly manifested." * 

* From The Times, May 5, 1847. 

270 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. hi. 



Some little time before her first appearance, while the rehearsals 
were still in progress, Mademoiselle Lind quitted the residence of 
her friend, in Eccleston Street, to take possession of a detached 
cottage, pleasantly situated, in its own grounds, at Old Brompton. 
It will be remembered that, by the terms of her contract with 
Mr. Lumley, she was to be provided with a furnished residence, 
at the expense of the management ; and, of all the houses she 
had seen, " Clairville Cottage," as it was then called, was the 
only one that seemed to please her. Though small and un- 
pretending, it was both comfortable, and convenient ; it was 
within a moderate drive of the theatre ; and the neighbourhood 
in which it stood — now absorbed in the new district of South 
Kensington — was sufficiently retired to ensure the privacy which, 
indeed, formed one of its principal attractions. 

Nearly all the old houses in this part of Old Brompton have long 
since been pulled down ; and the actual site of Clairville Cottage 
and its pretty surburban garden is now occupied by one of the 
more modern and much larger residences in Brechin Place, the 
ground on which it stood forming part of a quadrangle, bounded 
by Brechin Place on its northern and southern sides, by the 
Gloucester Road, on its eastern side, and on that towards the 
west, by Rosary Gardens. 

But, though all trace of the cottage itself has vanished, its 
name is perpetuated, in somewhat dubious orthography, in Clare- 
ville Grove — a road leading northwards from a spot near its 
former site ; and a relic of the garden still remains, in the form 
of a tall and handsome plane tree, overhanging the Old Brompton 
Road, in front of Brechin Place, and vigorously flourishing 
within two minutes' walk of the house in which Madame Gold- 
scbmidt spent the last twelve years of her life. It was a less 

]847.] AT CLAIRVILLE. 271 

splendid tree, in 18J:7, than it is now, but she loved it all the 
more, for the birds sang there, undisturbed, among the branches 
from which the busy traffic of the road has now banished them. 

Here, within full view of this well-beloved tree, and an equally- 
beloved magnolia, while all London was wild with curiosity to 
peer into the minutest details of her private life, the " Swedish 
Nightingale " — as all the world now delighted to call her — passed 
her time in almost monastic seclusion, diligently employed in the 
study of her new parts, and visited only by a select circle of 
intimate and sympathetic friends, whose society afforded her far 
greater and more genuine pleasure than she could ever have 
found in the gay and fashionable world that was vainly striving 
to intrude upon her solitude, and employing every cunning 
device that ingenuity could suggest to attract her within its 

Never before had 2^rima donna created so profound a sensation 
among all classes of society. 

In every mouth, the name of " The Swedish Nightingale " was 
" famihar as a household w^ord." It is not too much to say that 
all London was raving about her — and not all London only ; for 
" the Jenny Lind fever," as some of the more vulgar organs of 
the Press affected to call it, extended to the remotest corner of 
the Kingdom. 

AYe have before us, as we write, a rough " broadside," printed, 
on commonest paper, with worn-out type, by " F. Hodges, from 
Pitts, Wholesale Toy and Marbel Warehouse, 31 Dudley Street, 
Seven Dials," and headed, in huge capitals : — • 


At the top of a double column of verses is a rude woodcut, 
possibly meant, on this occasion to represent a ballad-singer, 
though it had no doubt done duty, many a time and oft, in bygone 
days, for something else ; and thus begin the rhymes : — 

*' Oh ! is there not a pretty fuss 

In London all around, 
About the Swedish Nightingale, 

The talk of all the town? 
Each Square and Street, as through you pass, 

Aloud with praises ring, 
About this pretty singing bird, 

The famous Jenny Lind. 

272 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. iir. 


"For slie turns eacli heart, and turns each head, 
Of those who hear her sing, 
And she is turning all her notes to gold 
Is famous Jenny Lind." 

Eight stanzas of this execrable doggrell fill up the sheet, which 
we should not care to notice, were it not an historical fact that 
such sheets were sold, and such verses sung, in the by-streets of 
London, from morning till night. 

Mr. Albert Smith, the well-known humourist and lecturer on 
Mont Blanc, has contributed to the literature of the period a 
chapter, describing the scenes at the pit-door, and illustrated by a 
series of sketches, depicting the adventures of " Mr. Straggles," 
who, appearing first, in all the glories of irreproachable evening 
costume, passes, afterwards, through a succession of changes which 
cause him to figure, in the final tableau^ with his dress coat 
torn open from top to bottom, the bow of his cravat protruding 
behind his neck, his Jorfinette crushed beneath a fellow-enthusiast's 
foot, and his Ujihus' — represented in six successive stages of 
deterioration — reduced to a wiry skeleton. 

Between nine and ten o'clock, on the morning after her delut, 
Mdlle. Lind appeared in Eccleston Street, before her friend had 
risen ; and sat by her bed-side, " with a radiant countenance," 
discussing the events of the previous evening. 

" Are you content with last night ? " asked Mrs. Grote. 

" More than content," she replied. " What a fine public ! " 

On the same day, she wrote to her friend, Frau von Jaeger, at 
Vienna ; — • 

"London, 5th of May, 1847. 

" Deaeest Mother, 

"It is high time that I should send you a word ; and, first 
of all, that I should thank you for all that you have done for me, 
and for all your good advice, and assure you that I shall never 
forget anything, and that my sincere love for you, and for all of 
you, will remain, through all the time to come, the only recom- 
pense that one can give to another, in exchange for such sympathy 
and friendship as I have received from you. 

" You well know that I cannot express what I feel. If I could, 
then many many words would follow. But, I feel my own weak- 
ness ; and say, only, ' Thank you, beloved Mother, for the second 

1847] AT CLAIRVILLE. 273 

most beautiful three months in my life ! ' The first were those I 
spent with the Wichmanns in the previous winter. These six 
months have been the happiest for me, and I can offer you no 
better word than ' Thanks ! ' But, I must thank my dear sister 
also, for having always been so kind to me. That she was never 
jealous is a proof of the goodness of her heart. My father was — 
my father ! I love him, too, as if I were really his daughter. 
And Fritz can also say whether 1 have been as a sister to him, or 
not. There, then, you have my confession of love : and, if we do 
not see each other again, for fifty years, time can never change 
my feeUngs. 

" Dear Mother ! AVhat else have I to tell you ! Perhaps you 
expect to hear that I have lost my personal freedom, or something 
of that sort ? Mon Dieu ! Jlon Dieu ! How splendidly has 
everything gone with me I — the journey included ! 

" Yesterday, the 4th of May, I made my first appearance here, 
as ' Alice,' in Robert — and it went so, that, through the whole 
night, I could not sleep, for joy ! To my astonishment, I found 
the English public in the highest degree sympathetic and intelli- 
gent ; and yesterday evening was grand. From the Queen, down 
to the scene-shifters, all here have been good to me, and so 
friendly, that I do not feel in the least like a stranger — and this 
says a great deal, for I am ever thinking of Vienna. Everything 
has gone with me ten thousand times better than I expected ; and 
I have neither seen, nor heard, anything about Mr. Bunn. I 
think he will institute a law-suit — only, his position in the matter 
has taken such a comical turn, that I am almost beginning to feel 
sorry for him. 

" Lablache has been so good to me, that I feel quite moved. 
He behaves as no one but a great Artist like himself could behave. 
Lumley's attention, and friendliness, are not to be doubted, and 
make me hope that my mother, and many others, have been mis- 
taken in him. I hear so much about him — and it all pleases me. 
But, more about this in the future, if he always acts as he is 
acting now. 

" Louise was so frightened, yesterday, about my first appearance 
that she has a headache which confines her to bed. But she sends 
you hearty greetings. But, my calmness was quite wonderful ! 
What a joy, to be able so to conquer one's five senses ! How can 
I ever sufficiently thank God for it. Mother ! 

" We live most delightfully, rather far from the city, where all 
is still and restful, the air splendid, and a garden in which the 
birds are singing the whole day long. And the trees are so fresh 
and green. I have a house all to myself, and a first-rate man- 
servant, who speaks German, and an Englishwoman who does the 


274 JENNY LIND. [bk. vir. ch. hi. 

other work of the house — Lennie, and his sister, and her husband, 
who are everything that is good to me. Friendly faces, wherever 
I look. So, you see, mother, that I want for nothing. 

" I think so much of Vienna. I feel certain that it will not be 
long before I once more visit the Imperial City. It is too dear 
to me ; and Germany is my second Fatherland, and Vienna, my 
favourite home. 

" But I must leave off now ; for I believe some people are 
coming to congratulate me. 

"I have one thing to beg of you, mother. Do you personally 
know the Countess Schonborn ? Ah ! Go to her, and tell her, 
and her sister, the Countess Ruenburg, that I send them my best 
remembrances, and have ever the liveliest recollection of their 
kindness to me. And tell them how well everything has gone 
with me. I know it will interest the two Countesses, to hear 
this ; and I will soon write to them, myself, about it. Tell them 

" And I beg my good Herr Julius Pechvill to call upon my 
good Signor Battaglia, and to tell him that my Italian pronuncia- 
tion has been so successful, that Lablache was quite astonished 
at it. 

" And now farewell ! farewell ! Eemember me to all — all who 
are yours, and all who are not yours. With joy, and thankful 
love, thinks of you all 

" Your daughter, 
" Jenny. 

" Will my mother, or Augusta, soon write to me ? I long so 
for news of you all." * 

To Judge Munthe she wrote, five days later : — 

" London, May lOth, 1847. 

" It is always a pleasure to Avrite to my good guardian and 
fatherlike friend ; but, this time, I write with a lighter heart than 
usual, because I have succeeded so Avell in this my last under- 
taking, which was, to make my way here in London, in spite of 
all the difficulties and intrigues that people have tried to throw in 
my way. 

" I appeared, as ' Alice,' in Rolerto il Diavolo, on the 4th of 
this month, and I cannot describe the sympathy and enthusiasm 
with which I was received — and, to my astonishment, well under- 
stood ! 

* Translated, by permission, from the original letter, in the possession of 
Frliulein Jaeger von Jaxthal. 


1847.] AT CLAIRVILLE. 275 

" I am so happy, and find things so pleasant, that there is 
perhaps no being under the sun so happy as I." 

It is pleasant to see, that, by this time, the dark shadow had so 
completely lost its terrors that it could be mentioned even with 
playfulness ; and, that poor Mr. Bunn's position had become so 
" comical " as almost to inspire a feeling of sorrow for him. And 
it is pleasant, too, to find that, notwithstanding the sinister 
influence exercised by that dark shadow in Vienna, it had not 
been dark enough to cloud the happiness, or sadden the memory 
of the bright sojourn in the Austrian Capital. 

A letter, written to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, on Thursday, the 
Gth of May — two days after the dehut — contains a still more 
touching allusion to Vienna than that addressed to Frau von 
Jaeger, and speaks so pleasantly of London, and its climate, and 
inhabitants, that its contents can scarcely fail to interest the 

" London, the Gth of Mav, 1847. 

" Good Mother, 

" It is a long long time since I have heard anything from 
you ; and I am longing earnestly for news. 

" You must not be angry with me for writing so little to you 
from Vienna. For, my only excuse is, that I was simply torn to 
pieces, there. 

" But, you are ever in my heart, as of old, good mother and 

" The day before yesterday, I made my first appearance here, 
at the Italian Opera, as ' Alice ' in Roberto, and never, perhaps, 
have things gone better with me, m every iccnj, than here. What 
do you say to that ? 

" I am so glad, so happy, so thankful, that I hardly know what 
I am doing. 

" The theatre is splendid, and I have never been in such good 
voice. The climate is — for me, at least — very good ; and, apart 
from all this, I am so glad, because every one here is so friendly 
to me that I am quite touched. 

" Lablache is like a father to me ; and Mr. Lumley, like a good 
and true old friend. 

" Are you going to Vienna ? If so, remember me to Herr 
Pokorny and his amiable wife, and my other friends ; and tell 
them that I thank them, from my heart, for all their kindness 
to me. 

" And to the Imperial City, say, amidst the still silence, that 

276 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. hi. 

there lives a maiden, born in Sweden, who would gladly call 
Vienna the City of Her Fathers. Oh ! my Vienna ! Oh ! my 
Viennese ! Oh ! my heart swells, when I think of all that 
happened to me, there ! " 

These delightful recollections of a past time did not, however, 
prevent Mdlle. Lind from thinking tenderly for others, in the 

In a letter wi'itten to her from Leipzig, soon after her engage- 
ment at Her Majesty's Theatre had been finally ratified, Mendels- 
sohn had asked her, when she visited London, to sing to a friend 
of his, who had long been laid upon a bed of sickness. This lady 
was Mrs. Seth Thompson, the daughter of the well-tnown Organist 
and Glee Composer, Mr. William Horsley. Well knowing how 
dearly Mrs. Thompson would prize such an act of kindness, 
Mendelssohn, as the time approached, sent her a letter, announcing 
the pleasure that was in store for her ; and the remembrance of 
Mdlle. Lind's visit to the invalid lady, and of the songs with 
which she cheered and comforted her, is still affectionately 
cherished by her family, and that of Mr. Horsley. 

But what a change had passed over her life, within the last few 
weeks ! How different her thoughts, now, and at the moment at 
which she took leave of her Austrian friends. She had conquered 
her, and Avas already reaping the rich reward of her moral 
victory. The fate of Her Majesty's Theatre no longer hung in 
the balance. She had saved its Manager from ruin. For the 
remainder of the season, the position of the " Old Italian Opera " 
was impregnable ; and she alone had made it so. All doubts as 
to her reception by an English audience had been set at rest. 
The dread, the suspense, the cruel threats that had caused her 
such torments of anxiety, had vanished like a dream. For a time, 
at least, the " sable cloud " had " turned forth its silver lining on 
the night " ; and all around was light, and joy, and peace, and 
hope for the happy future. 


" "la figlia del reggimento." 

From this time forward Mdlle. Lind was greeted in London, bj 
all classes of society, with the most flattering marks of esteem 
and admiration. The Queen received her with marked attention. 
The Queen-Dowager invited her to visit Her Majesty in private. 
The Duke of Wellington was most sedulous in his demonstrations 
of respect and admiration, and, on one occasion, invited her to 
his country-seat, promising that music should form no topic of 
the conversation. Invitations poured in, from every side, in 
numbers which it would have been quite impossible for her to 
have accepted, even had her time been entirely at her own 
disposal. But, though compelled by her duties at the theatre 
to devote so many hours of the day to study and rehearsal, she 
did not entirely shut herself out from the pleasures of society. 
Mrs. Grote, who accompanied her one evening to a private 
concert at Lansdowne House to which she had been invited as 
an auditor, gives an interesting account, in her MS. Memoir, of 
the excitement caused by her first appearance in the reception- 
room, when, at the moment of her entrance, all other visitors 
were forgotten, in the desire to meet her with a cordial welcome. 

" I was not a little amused," she says, " to observe the Duke 
of Wellington approach, with the intention of making his bow to 
Lady Lansdowne ; but, finding it hopeless to catch her attention 
— so engrossed was she with Mdlle. Lind — he quietly passed 
unnoticed into the Sculpture Gallery, where a vocal concert was 
about to commence. I at length proposed to Jenny that we 
should take om' places there, also ; and we soon found om'selves 
in the middle of a brilliant company, whose eyes were frequently 
bent in the direction of our seats. Jenny, who was always very 
impatient under this kind of scrutiny, felt vexed at it ; but there 
was no escape. The concert proceeded ; the artists comprising 

278 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. iv. 

all the 'stars' of the two rival houses, herself only excepted. 
The first part over, I was besieged by persons of my acquaintance, 
with requests to be introduced to Mdlle. Lind : Lady Pembroke, 
and her daughter-in-laAV, Mrs. Sidney Herbert, Lady Lincoln, 
with one or two other ladies obtained the privilege, and continued 
to talk to her, until Jenny, impatient to escape, whispered to me, 
* Let us go and look at the pictures.' So we w^ent into the rooms 
through which we had entered, and looked at the pictures, which 
interested her far more than the music. Meanwhile, the concert 
had re-commenced, so that we could not resume our places con- 
veniently ; accordingly Jenny begged me to go away, which we 
presently did. As we drove home to Clairville, I expressed 
myself highly satisfied with the flattering attentions of which she 
had been the object during the evening. She rejoined : ' Dear 
Madame, you are much more proud for me than I am for myself. 
It certainly was a splendid sight ; but I would rather have been 
, ambling with you among the Burnham beeches, after all.' " 

The rambles under the fine old Burnham beech trees, near 
Mr. Grote's country-house, furnished, indeed, a pleasant and highly 
needful relief to the fatigues of the season, which were very trying 
to her. 

La Sonnamhula was announced for performance for the first 
time, on Tuesday, the loth of May. 

Never, perhaps, was Mdlle. Lind's detestation of all that bore 
the stamp of unreality more strongly marked than in this 
charming Opera. She could not endure a sham — though, the 
temptation to do so, here, must have been very great. 

In the last act of La Sonnam'bida, Amina, walking in her 
sleep, crosses a crazy wooden bridge, spanning a mill-stream, and 
hanging in the air, directly over a revolving water-wheel. As 
she reaches the middle of this frail structure, the worm-eaten 
planks give way — or rather, by an ingenious stage-device, appear 
to give way — beneath her feet. She starts — lets the lamp she 
holds in her hand fall into the stream — and then, without 
awaking, calmly proceeds on her way, down a rude flight of steps, 
to the front of the stage, where, taking from her bosom the faded 
flowers that Elvino has given to her, she sings the beautiful air, 
' Ah ! non credea mirarti^ which forms one of the most attractive 
movements of the Finale. 

The danger of crossing the mimic bridge is, perhaps, less real 

1847.] " LA SONNAMBULA." 279 

than apparent, when proper precautions are taken to ensure the 
singer's safety. But, it is a dangerous walk, for a nervous prima 
donna ; and very few of our greatest singers have ever attempted 
it. The usual plan is, to dress up a poor little " supernumerary " 
in clothes exactly like those of the real representative of " Amina " ; 
to let her perform the perilous feat of crossing the bridge ; and, 
after she has dropped her lamp, and displaced some of the loose 

stones lying at the edge of her path, to let her pass behind a 
projecting piece of rock, arranged for the purpose, and there 
change places with the real prima donna, who emerges on the 
opposite side of the cunningly-constructed screen, and is supposed, 
by the audience, to have performed the entire journey in her own 
proper pereon. 

But Mdlle. Lind would never consent to cheat her audience 
thus. She once told the writer, when conversing with him on 

280 JENNY LIND. [bk. vir. cii. iv. 

the events of that memorable time, that she had never, in her 
life, let any one cross the bridge for her — not because she was 
more courageous than other representatives of the village som- 
nambulist ; for, she confessed to having been horribly frightened, 
every time that she had to undergo the trying ordeal — but be- 
cause, she said, " I should have been ashamed to stand before the 
audience, pretending that I had crossed the bridge, if I had not 
really done it." 

So, the boards were marked with chalk, to show the exact lines 
between which Amiiia was to walk ; and a circle was drawn, at the 
spot at which the bridge was to give way beneath her, so that she 
might not be taken unprepared. But, these precautions formed a 
less efficient safeguard than might have been imagined ; for, she 
had heard that somnambulists always walked straight forward, 
without looking at their feet, and she risked a fall, night after 
night, in order that she might act her part with perfect truth to 

But her nervous fears did not prevent her from singing her 
best ; for, during the course of the same conversation, she told 
the writer, that, accidentally looking down at Mr. Balfe, while she 
was singing ' Ah ! non credm^ she saw that his face was bathed in 
tears. And he, we jnay be sure, was not the only listener thus 
moved by her rendering of that most lovely movement — one of 
the purest and most touchingly plaintive strains of melody that 
the modern Italian School has produced. 

No one witnessed Mdlle. Lind's first performance of " Amina " 
with more rapt attention than the Queen. She was there from the 
beginning. The * Gome per me sereno,' with its brilliant oppor- 
tunities for showing off the voice, was a little too full of ornament 
altogether to satisfy Her Majesty's taste ; but she expressed 
unbounded admiration of all that followed, dwelling strongly, 
according to our information, upon " the exquisite shake, the 
wonderful clear, sweet piano way of singing in the very highest 
tones, without losing any of their fulness and freshness." The 
' Son geloso ' and ' PremU Vanel^ were felt to be full of a new 
beauty. But a charm, as exquisite, as it was novel, was recognised 
by the Royal listener in the soft, touching, half-whispered tones in 
which " Amina " sang in the scene where she enters the Count's 
apartment asleep. Again, the dignified way in which she de- 
livered in the subsequent scene the words, '^ Uea non sono, no, 

1847.] "LA SONNAMBULA." 281 

Ja fid (jiammai^ giving as it did the idea of complete innocence 
was noted as exceptionally fine. In this, as indeed throughout 
the whole performance, the singer was recognised by the Queen 
as speaking from the heart to the heart. 

Of her singing of the Recitative and Adagio, ' Ah ! non credea 
miraiii^ Signer Lablache said to the Queen, "«/e dois dire que 
je n^ai jamais rien entendu comme cela''' In this opinion, according 
to our information, Her Majesty heartily concurred. She was 
present, along with the Prince Consort, when La Sonnamlida 
was performed for the second time on Saturday the 15th of May. 
All Her Majesty's first impressions were more than confirmed. 
She spoke with enthusiasm as Lablache had done of the ' Ah, non 
credea^ " It was all piano,^'' she said, " and clear and sweet, and 
like the sighing of a zephyr, yet all heard. Who could describe 
those long notes, drawn out till they quite melt away, that shake 
which becomes softer and softer, those very piano and flute-like 
notes — ^and those round fresh tones which are so youthful ? " * 

To an English, no less than to a Continental audience, La 
Sonnam'nda had ever been welcome ; and the nameless charm 
with which that part w^as now invested, the enchantment thrown 
over it l>y the perfection of Mdlle. Lind's ideal interpretation of 
each chmge and phase of sentiment that rendered its impersona- 
tion mere life-like and complete, seemed to make the work a 
greater lavourite than ever. The audience were never tired of it. 
Throughout the season, it was given, again and again, with the 
certainty of a crowded house, and a triumphant success ; and it 
was not mtil after its fourth performance, in alternation with 
four perf>rmances of Roberto il Diavolo, that the management 
thought il necessary to announce the production of another 

The new Opera was one entirely unknown, at that time, in 
England ; tiough we have had occasion to mention it, more than 
once, in coni^ction with other countries, during the course of 
our narrative. 

It will be :^membered, that during Mdlle. Lind's short but 
serious illness,it Berlin, in February, 1845, Die Regimentstochter 
had been preseted, with Friiulein Tuczec in the principal part. 

Before that ime, Mdlle. Lind herself had never undertaken 
the part of " Mrie " ; but, as we have already seen, she appeared 
* St the note f already referred to on page 268. 

282 JENNY LIND. ' [bk. vii. ch. iv. 

in it, at Stockholm, on the Dth of June, 1845, with such success, 
that the Opera was redemanded on every remaining night but one 
of the summer season — in all, eight times. Since then, it had 
become a special favourite, in almost every town she visited ; and, 
though the critics of Berlin had not yet had an opportunity of 
passing their verdict upon it, it had created an absolute/^^ror^. both 
at Munich and Vienna. It remained now, to test its capability of 
attracting the sympathies of an English audience, already pre- 
disposed to regard it with favour ; and, if it were possible to 
invent a stronger word than furore for the purpose of describing 
the result of the experiment, such a word would certainly not be 

It is not a great work — nor does it pose as one ; it betrays no 
true nobility of purpose ; no trace of poetical inspiration, in any 
one of its scenes, from first to last. How then, it may fairly be 
asked, did Mdlle. Lind succeed in making it one of the most 
charming and deservedly popular of her parts ? 

The question is a very natural one — and the answer equally so. 

She breathed a living soul into the form that had left the 
laboratory of its inventors without one ; and substituted this for 
the jointed lay-figure, the soulless automaton, embodied in the 
score. And, in her impersonation of the bewitching little heroine 
into whom this guileless soul had been breathed, the wholeinterest 
of the Opera was absorbed. She did not — as the critics woild have 
said — content herself with " creating the role of ' Marig' ; " she 
" created " the whole work. Ko one gave a thought to /he other 
members of the dramatis 2^pyson(e. The piece was absolutely 
devoid of attraction, when she was absent from the stge. But, 
the moment she appeared she held her audience spell-b/und. 

Never, we may safely say, in the whole history of A-rt was so 
brilliant and so legitimate a triumph produced, with /iich slender 
means for its foundation. All that was beautiful a^ attractive, 
all that was natural and touching in the part, was ijused into it 
by the genius of its interpreter — a genius imaginative enough to 
invent a role, full of piquant prettin esses, and abouiiing in points 
of perfectly legitimate interest, as a substitute forone that was 
absolutely colourless — and bold enough to presentthis charming 
ideal to the public, with such power of truthfulncs, such variety 
of dramatic effect, such marked individuality of character, that, 
from first to last, the audience never felt the sligtest temptation 


to wish that the plot of the story, or the Wbretto founded upon it, 
or the music adapted to the libretto, had been in any respect other 
than they really were. And this manifestation of dramatic 
truthfulness addressed itself to all the Avorld ; to the ignorant, no 
less than to the learned ; to gentle and simple ; to rich and poor ; 
to each and all alike. So true to Xature was the enchanting 
picture of Maria, that it had something to say to every one. And 
so it came to pass, that, of all the Operas presented, during this 
eventful season, La F'ujUa del Reggimento was the one that spoke 
most plainly to the general public, and became the greatest 
favourite with the outer world. 

We have heard the Germans speak of Mdlle. Lind, as the 
*' Priestess of Art." It was as the " Priestess of Nature" that she 
won the hearts of " the people." 

284 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. v. 


THE queen's state VISIT TO THE OPERA. 

The evening of Tuesday, the 15tli of June, 1847, was a memor- 
able one, in the annals of Her Majesty's Theatre. 

On that night, the Queen and the Prince Consort honoured the 
old historic Opera-House with a State visit ; and, " by Royal 
command," Mdlle. Lind appeared, for the first time in England, 
in the part of " Norma." 

Every conceivable care had been taken, by the management, to 
prepare a fitting reception for its august visitors. No expense 
had been spared, and no artistic detail neglected, which could add 
to the convenience of the Royal guests, or the magnificence of 
the entertainment. 

As early as half -past three o'clock, several parties had assembled 
at the various entrances of the theatre ; and the doors were 
opened half an hour earlier than usual. Crowds of Her Majesty's 
loyal subjects thronged Pall Mall, and greeted the Queen en route 
to the theatre, where Her Majesty w^as received with a flourish of 
trumpets, by the band of the Guards, and with cheers, by those 
assembled at the doors. 

Precisely at eight o'clock, the Queen entered the Royal box, 
with His Royal Highness, Prince Albert, accompanied by their 
suite ; when, instantaneously, the band struck up " God save the 
Queen," which was sung by the leading members of the troupe 
meJodieuse^ Madame Castellan singing the last verse. The applause 
at the conclusion was genuine, and enthusiastic. Her Majesty, 
having gracefully acknowledged the cheers and plaudits of her 
loyal subjects inside the house, sat down : and the performance 

Mdlle. Lind's interpretation of the part of the " Druid Priestess," 
was as remarkable for its superb vocalisation, as its beautifully 


impressive reading of the role. On her entree, she was received 
with the same marks of genuine approbation as on other occasions, 
and these were renewed, at every pause in the music, until, at the 
close of the Opera, the applause became absohitely deafening. 

Immediately after the Divertissement which followed, the 
National Anthem was again sung, when Her Majesty, her Eoyal 
Consort, and their suite, left the theatre. 

The performance was, in every way, a brilliant and successful 
one. But, the London newspapers were divided in their opinion 
of the respective merits of Mdlle. Lind's conception of the part, 
and that with which Madame Grisi had so long made them familiar. 
The fairest critiques gave high meed of praise to both ; but, 
though Mdlle. Lind's " Xorma " was one of her, most successful 
roles on the Continent, it is incontestable that it was less popular 
in England than either that of " Amina " or " Alice." The Times^ 
and The Illustrated London News, analysed the new ideal of the 
character with keenest perception of its beauties, and just dis- 
crimination between the merits of the two possible interpreta- 
tions of the role. The Athemeum, and The Miisiccd World, 
characterised the entire performance as an ignoble failure, and 
enforced their own views in the strongest terms they could 

Which of the two opposing verdicts may we venture to accept 
as the true one ? 

Mons. Roger, the famous French tenor, in an autobiographical 
sketch, published some years ago, in Paris,* leads us to believe 
that his view of this particular case coincided with that of the 
critics of The Athenceum and The Musical Woi^ld ; though, with 
regard to other equally important roles, he finds no words too 
strong to express his unbounded admiration for Mdlle. Lind's 
genius and personality. 

On the other hand, since the issue of our earlier Editions, we 
have received a confirmation of the opposite opinion as gratifying 
as it was unexpected, emanating from a very high authority 
indeed — the highest, perhaps, that it would be possible to quote. 

At an evening party given by Signor Mario, at S. Petersburg, 

in the year 1849, Madame Grisi, in the course of a conversation 

with His Excellency, the Count de Bylandt, who was then 

attached as first Secretary to the Netherlands Legation at S. 

* Le Carnet cVun Tenor. Gustav Koger. (Paris, 1880.) 

286 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. v. 

Petersburg, expressed her opinion of Mdlle. Lind's impersonation 
of the role of " Norma," in the following remarkable words : — • 

" I long thought there was only one ' Norma ' in the world, and 
that was myself ! But, since I heard Jenny Lind sing the same 
part, I must confess that there are two ' Normas,' quite different 
in conception, but, equally true, equally genuine, equally perfect ; 
and I now very much hesitate to say which of the two I believe 
to be the best." 

It gives us unfeigned pleasure to be able to record these generous 
words, uttered in self-evident artistic enthusiasm, by the great 
2)ri7na donna, while her European reputation was still at its zenith, 
and at the very time when, by a certain section of the press, she 
was made to pose as Mdlle. Lind's proudest and most implacable 
rival ; and we owe our best thanks to the Count de Bylandt for 
permitting us to reproduce them, exactly as they were addressed 
to him by Madame Grisi herself. 

( 287 ) 



Though Her Majesty's State visit to the Opera-House may be 
fairly said to have marked the culminating point of interest in 
Mdlle. Lind's first London season, it by no means represented the 
last, or even the greatest of her triumphs. 

But, before describing her later successes, it is necessary that we 
should recur, for a moment, to a subject which continued to excite 
the interest of the musical world, long after those whom it most 
intimately concerned had given up all hope of bringing it to a 
satisfactory conclusion. 

"When we last spoke of Mendelssohn's promise to compose an 
Opera for Her Majesty's Theatre, with the principal part assigned 
to Mdlle. Lind, and written expressly for her, it seemed just 
possible that the idea might be carried out and the work completed 
in time for performance during the season of 1847. But, as time 
went on, it became evident that the project must be abandoned. 
The difficulty with regard to the choice of a libretto proved to be 
insurmountable. Many subjects were proposed — among others, 
Shakespeare's Tempest — but Mendelssohn was dissatisfied with 
them all ; and, as the season w^as now too far advanced to admit 
of farther delay, the scheme fell to the ground. 

The crisis was a serious one ;' for, a new Opera had been formally 
promised to the subscribers. But, Mr. Lumley's managerial 
talent never showed itself to greater advantage, than when brought 
face to face with some insurmountable difficulty ; and the failure 
of his endeavours to procure a new Opera from Mendelssohn, for 
the season of 1847, served only to excite him to greater exertions 
than ever, in the cause of his beloved theatre. 

If Mendelssohn could not provide him with a finished work 

288 JENNY LtND. [bk. vii. ch. vi. 

in time for immediate i^roduction, some other composer must be 
found who could. 

The composer fixed upon was Verdi ; and the plot of Schiller's 
well-known play, Die R(iubei\ was selected for the substituted 
work. A libretto^ founded on this subject, had already been pre- 
pared, by the popular Italian poet, Andrea Maffei ; and Yerdi had 
fortunately completed the music in time to meet the manager's 
great need of a new work — failing the production of which, he 
would not have fulfilled the promise made to his subscribers at 
the beginning of the season. 

The new Opera was produced, on Thursday, the 22nd of July, 
under the title of / MasnacUerl, 

" The Opera was highly successful," says the Illustrated London 
Neivs — the most important, and the most impartial Art-journal 
of the day. " The talented Maestro, on appearing in the orchestra 
to conduct his clever work, was received with three rounds of 
applause. He was caUed before the curtain, after the first and 
third acts, and at the conclusion of the Opera, amidst the most 
vehement plaudits. The house was crowded to excess, and was 
honoured by the presence of Her Majesty, Prince Albert, the 
Queen Dowager, and the Duchess of Cambridge." 

Yet, in spite of the favourable tone of this, and other critiques, 
/ Masnadieri, though it furnished Mdlle. Lind with the material 
for one of her most brilliant triumphs, was, in itself, 2i fiasco. In 
La Figlia del Reggimento, she triumphed so completely over the 
inherent weakness of the libretto and the commonplace character 
of the music, that the piece retained its place on the stage as long 
as she herself remained to sing in it. But, in La Figlia del Reggi- 
mento, she represented the entire Opera. She was its life, and 
soul ; the whole interest of it was centred in her impersonation 
of the little Vivandiere ; the other characters were merest puppets. 
The public thronged the theatre, to hear Jenny Lind — not to see 
Donizetti's Opera. 

In the 3Iasnadieri, the case was widely different. She could 
have saved it, no doubt, if she could have absorbed the whole 
interest of the piece in her own part. But this was impossible. 
In so far as the plot of Lie Rduber is concerned, Schiller himself 
has invested his heroine with no predominating traits of character 
which could raise her to a position of all-absorbing interest in the 

1847.] "LA TEMPESTA." « I MASNADIERI." 289 

development of his storj— no strongly-marked individuality 
which could enable even the genius of Mademoiselle Lind to save 
the Opera, by clothing a comparatively colourless part with a 
nobler conception than it was intrinsically capable of assuming. 

And so it was, that / Masnaclierl survived but the three repre- 
sentations courteously accorded to a succes d'estime, and furnished 
but a sorry substitute for the promised Tempesta of Mendelssohn. 


290 JENNY LIND. [bk. yii. ch. yii. 


The last new part in which Mdlle. Lind appeared, during the 
London season of 1847, was that of "Susanna,'' in Mozart's ever- 
welcome Nozze di Figaro. 

The change, from the sombre gloom of Schiller's ghastly- 
tragedy, to the airy brightness of the most perfect lyric comedy 
that the school of Vienna had ever given to the world, was a 
startling one indeed. A more convincing proof of the versatility 
of the singer's genius could scarcely have been given, had such a 
proof been needed. 

The music of Mozart needs a special talent for its perfect 
interpretation ; and Mdlle. Lind sang it as she felt quite 
certain that Mozart himself would have wished to hear it sung. 
She had studied it profoundly, and frankly identified herself with 
its spirit, both in connection with the stage, and with the concert- 
room. So great was her admiration of the master, that she always 
spoke of him as " the divine Mozart " (cler gbttUche Mozart). 
• A critic who carefully analysed Le Nozze di Figaro some forty 
years after its production, arrived at the conclusion, that Mozart 
had " changed into real passion the trifling incidents which, in 
Beaumarchais' comedy, only amused the amiable inhabitants of 
the Castle of Aguas Frescas." 

A later waiter says : " In the comedy of Beaumarchais, we find 
the adventures of the inmates of Aguas Frescas infinitely amusing^ 
and we are delighted with their lively manners, and the wit and 
satire of their conversation ; but we care as little for them as 
they seem to care for one another. Mozart has given them 
liearts, and made them the objects of our sympathy, by inspiring 
them with feeling, and passion." 

Whether we admit the truth of these hypotheses or not, it is 
certain that Mozart has invested the characters with a tenderness 
of expression to which it would be difficult to do full justice in 

1847.] " LE NOZZE DI FIGARO." 291 

the spoken dialogue even of Beaumarcliais. And it was upon 
this tenderness that Mdlle. Lind seized, as the basis of her 
conception ; bringing it prominently forward, at every fittiug 
opportunity, yet without entirely sacrificing to it that lighter vein 
of feeling in the treatment of which Beaumarchais was inimitable. 
And we cannot doubt that, in adopting this course, she fulfilled 
Mozart's intentions, both in the spirit, and the letter. 

Xeither as an actress, nor as a singer, did she deviate, in the 
slightest detail, from the path indicated to her in the score. 
Every mark of expression, every dynamic sign, every indication of 
temjjo, was a law to her. She thankfully accepted its guidance ; she 
was as submissive as a child ; no thought of resistance to the written 
law ever entered her heart. But, the service she yielded was a 
reasonable one. She could not have submitted more willingly, if 
Mozart himself had been there to claim her obedience. She could 
not have been less fettered, or more original, if she herself had 
composed the Opera, which, with her deUcate interpretation of the 
principal part, achieved a success quite unprecedented. Every 
scene in which she took part was accepted by the audience, with 
tokens of unfeigned delight ; and a passage of unaccompanied 
Recitativo secco a quattro voci, sung, in the Second Act, by Mdlle. 
Jenny Lind, Madame Grimaldi, Herr Staudigl, and Signor 
Lablache, received a double encore, and was given three times, 
amidst a perfect storm of applause. 

As the Recitativo secco, in Mozart's Operas, is rarely printed, 
save in the full orchestral scores, and is therefore unlikely to be 
known to the generality of our readers, we give the passage here, 
exactly as it stands in the full score published by Messrs. 
Breitkopf and Hartel of Leipzig, but, with the soprano part trans- 
posed into the treble clef, for the benefit of the general reader.* 

^ Susanna. 


£- ^ * 


"Ki* • 


P 'D^-\ 

(^y-I^^V— ,•- 


H^ ^ H # # ~# • \^\ 



^ : 

H* r 1 r I 1 

^ !> 1 

\S) 'j _. i - "^ 

■: . \^ 1^ L> 'm^ ' I 

^ Chial par 



^ w w r - r - 

con - ten - ta ? Chi al par di 

me con - 

/^y r^ 


1^^ .. 


'^ i7 



* Althougli the passage was sung without accompaniment, a Thorough-bass 
is given with it in the score. 

U 2 



[bk. vir. CH. VII- 






Don Bart. 

I - 



SUS. ,.^ cres. j: ^ PP ,. r^^^'■• 


E scliiatti il sig - nor Con-to, 


al giis-to rai - o. 

I - ! E scliiatti il sig - nor Con-te, al giis - to mi - o. 

z -F 1 ^. 


E scliiatti il sig- nor Con-te, al gus- to mi - o. 
cres. f - - /^_ /Ts 


E scliialli il sig - nor Con-te, 
cres. f 

\\ gus - to 

• J ^ 


This seems simple enough — and is simple enough. So simple, 
that, in the mouths of four commonplace singers, it might very 
easily pass for a graceful little harmonised cadence, at the close 
of a passage of ordinary recitative. But, Mdlle. Lind did not 
regard it in that light. Ably supported by her colleagues, she 
sang it in conscientious accordance with the indications f m'nished 
by Mozart, in the score : that is to say, with gradually increasing 
interest, from the beginning of the solo passage culminating in a 
pause of moderate length upon the dotted quaver, F ; in extreme 
fiam^ from the part at which the voices first join in four-part 

1847.] "LE NOZZE DI FIGARO." 293 

harmony, with a crescendo to the forte indicated at the word 
" Conte " ; in extreme piano, again, from that part to the end, 
with a long- pause on the antepenultimate D ; and, on the penul- 
timate, C, one of those wonderful shakes which she alone could 
execute — prolonged, to a degree which made it seem as if the 
supply of breath were simply inexhaustible — beginning pianissmo, 
yet ever diminishing in tone, to the gentlest warble, which, 
nevertheless, was heard, with perfect distinctness, to the remotest 
limits of the enormous salle — no hazy tremolo, of uncertain in- 
tonation, but a rapid alternation of C, and D, in perfect tune 
throughout, and growing ever fainter and fainter, till it faded 
into the final B flat with a ravishing charm too subtle for 

The effect it produced was electrical. It lingers in our 
memory, as we write of it, as clearly as if we had heard it, not 
five and forty years ago, but yesterday. No one had ever heard 
the passage so interpreted before — indeed, it was manifestly 
impossible that it could ever have been so interpreted upon 
any previous occasion within the memory of man ; for, this 
was the first time that Mdlle. Lind had ever sung the part in 
Italian, and the place of the recitativo secco was supplied, on 
the German stage, by spoken dialogue. No wonder, then, that 
the audience were spell-bound ! The burst of applause was 
overwhelming. Cries of delight, of admiration, of astonishment, 
were heard on every side. Yet, after all, what right had any 
one to feel surprised ? The singer had simply availed herself 
of the opportunity provided for her in the text. But, what a 
genius was needed, for the creation of the opportunity, on the 
one hand, and, on the other, for the intuitive perception which 
enabled the interpreter to seize upon it ! 

294 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. viii. 



The clause in the Lumley contract which 'prevented Mdlle. Lind 
from taking part in any public concerts, during the London season, 
proved to be a very fortunate one ; and the effect of Mendelssohn's 
remonstrance, and the explanation which followed, gave unalloyed 
satisfaction, in the end, to all concerned. 

To have added to the fatigue and excitement of the Opera 
season, even by an occasional concert, would have been in the 
highest degree imprudent, had an occasional concert been possible. 
But it was not. In the then excited state of public feeling, a 
share in the programme of one single concert would have raised a 
clamour for concerts everywhere ; for engagements of one kind or 
another for every day in the week ; demands which it would have 
been impossible to meet, and the refusal of which would have led 
to infinite dissatisfaction and annoyance. 

Happily, all this turmoil was saved, by the exhaustive ventilation 
of the question which had already taken place, and its consequent 
settlement before the season began. It was well known that all 
public concerts were prohibited, by a stipulation duly signed, 
sealed, and delivered, in the engagement at the Opera. 

But Mendelssohn's prudence had overcome another, and a more 
serious phase of the difficulty, which, though it would beyond all 
doubt have been removed, when the season for its consideration 
arrived, was far better settled in advance. He had suggested, in 
his letter of October 31, 184G, that the prohibitive clause should 
not be understood to extend to concerts given by the Queen's 
command. Mr. Lumley had naturally agreed to this, as a matter 
of course ; and, between the 28th of May, and the 9th of August, 
Mdlle. Lind sang twice, by command of Her Majesty, at 
Buckingham Palace, and once at Osborne ; besides taking part in 


a concert given by Queen Adelaide, at Marlborough House, at 
which Her Majesty and the Prince Consort were present. 

At Buckingham Palace on the 28th of May Mdlle. Lind sang 
two of those Swedish songs in which she was unrivalled, 
accompanying herself upon the piano. They were new to her 
Royal audience, and by the spirit which spoke through the 
exquisite softness and finish of the execution, they went, there 
as well as elsewhere, home to every heart. The depth of the 
impression she produced was shown by the profound silence while 
she sang, a silence not accorded to the other singers, talented 
though they were, and by the murmnr of applause which followed, 
when she ceased. 

Twelve days later, she sang at Marlborough House, at a concert 
given by the Queen Dowager, at which the Queen and Prince 
Consort were present. It was given in the Hall, in which her voice 
was heard to great advantage. Here, as at the previous concert. 
Her Majesty conversed with Mdlle. Lind for some time, and spoke 
with great warmth both of her singing and her acting. Of 
Lablache, Mdlle. Lind spoke to the Queen in the warmest terms. 
" Er ist,''^ she said, ^^ wie em Vater fiir tins alJe.'''' 

Again on the last day of June she had the honour of singing 
before Her Majesty and the Prince at Buckingham Palace. On 
this occasion the purity, the sweetness and softness of her voice 
were much dwelt upon by the Queen, as well as the charming and 
unpretending grace of her manners. Nor did the remarkable 
delicacy and expressiveness of her touch on the piano escape 
notice. King Leopold and his Queen were present, and shared in 
the fascination which the artist and the woman seem to have 
excited in the Royal circle. King Leopold told her, she must not 
act with too much feeling, lest she should over-fatigue herself. 
To this she replied, " Ich hann nicht anders tliun ah ich fuJiUy 
On the same evening she said in reply to a hope expressed by Her 
Majesty, that she would see her next year, " Ich tvill die Buhne 
verlassen " — what she desired being, to go and work "/^r die 
WohlfhdtigJceif,''^ as " tme grande carriere " had no interest for her. 

On the 9th of August, along with Signor Lablache, Mdlle. 
Lind was invited to sing before the Queen and Prince Consort at 
Osborne. On this occasion she sang several Swedish songs ; four 
songs by Mendelssohn, ' Ueher die Berge^ ' FrilMingslied,^ ' Aiif 
WiederseJien,'' and ^ Sonntagslie.d,'' and with Lablache two duets 

296 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. tiii. 

from Le Nozze ill Figaro. Mdlle. Lind had always refused to 
take money for singing at the Eoyal concerts. She was greatly 
moved when the Queen, calling her aside, presented her with a 
bracelet, saying, as she did so, " I must again express not only my 
admiration but my respect for you," words more precious far to 
her than the costliest present. In the course of the conversation 
that ensued she again expressed her intention of quitting the 
stage ; but, in answer to Her Majesty's expression of regret at the 
loss this would be to art, she replied that she would certainly come 
back again to England, whether she carried her intention into 
execution or not.* 

It is known to everybody ; and we need not, therefore, fear to 
be accused of anticipating later events by alluding to the circum- 
stance here ; that, however brilliant her triumphs on the stage may 
have been — and they were certainly as briUiant in England as at 
Berlin, or Vienna, if not even more so — they did not represent 
the whole of her Art-life. However high may have been the level 
to which she raised the ideal perfection of dramatic singing — of 
that union of the most exquisite vocal technique with the most 
finished expression of dramatic truth, which, bearing ever in mind 
the necessary correlation of the twin Arts to one another, 
embodied the truest and the most exalted conception of the 
mission of the Opera that has ever yet been formed — however 
great may have been the work she accomplished in this particular 
field — it was not here that she Avon the heart of all England. It is 
quite true that Her Majesty's Theatre was crowded night after 
night. Delicate ladies fought for their places ; and frenzied 
gentlemen pushed in front of them, touching the very verge of 
loyalty and duty, in their eagerness to secure for themselves the 
good position they ought to have offered to the ladies who were 
as anxious to obtain it as themselves. The enthusiasm manifested 
on the night of the debut was, certainly, no ephemeral manifesta- 
tion of spasmodic excitement, for it continued to the end of the 
season. The admiration for the artist, the respect for the pure 
and holy life she was known to be living, the reverence for her as 
a true and noble-hearted woman, all these were won for her, on 
the night of her first appearance before an English audience — and 
she never lost them, till the day of her death. But, the love that 

* For our information in regard to these concerts we are indebted to the 
notes referred to in the note, p. 268, ante. 


made the name of Jenny Lind a " household word " in every 
English homestead, by every English hearth, in every dwelling 
in which the English language was spoken — the long-enduring 
LOVE was won at the concert-room, and at the Oratorio. Not 
even ' Ah non credca^ or ' Deh vleni noii tardar,^ commanded, on 
the stage, the depth of affection that was yielded, in an instant, 
to the ' Swedish Songs,' in the concert-room, or the still deeper 
feeling born of ' / Jcnow that my Redeemer Uveth^ and ' Eoly^ 
Holy, Holy,'' in the Cathedral. It was through Elijah and Jlessiah, 
through the Lieder of Mendelssohn and Lindblad, and the Swedish 
Melodies, and the thousand treasures that appeared, later on, in 
the concert programmes — that the beloved " Swedish Nightin- 
gale " sang her way into the great heart of the British people ; 
and it is therefore of peculiar interest that it should be through 
the warm and glowing words of our Queen that we now hear of 
the first concert at which she ever sang in the country in which 
she was afterwards naturalised. 

Truly, the privilege that has been so graciously accorded to us 
— and without which this chapter in the life of the subject of the 
present Memoir could never have been adequately written — is one 
for which the most grateful thanks we can offer fall equally short 
of our duty, our loyalty, and our heart-felt desire. 

298 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. ix. 



The business of the season was heavy and exacting, and its 
excitement fatiguing, even to the strong ; but, Hke the music of 
a grand dramatic scena, it had its " points of repose," interspersed 
among the agitato passages which formed the basis of its general 
construction. Let us hear what our friend, Mrs. Grote, has to 
tell us about those welcome little agremens. 

" The summer of 1847 passed delightfully," she says, in the 
MS. Memoir from which we have so frequently quoted, " divided, 
as it was, between theatrical labours and triumphs, and passages 
of recreation. Among the latter, the most agreeable to her were, 
repeated visits to om* own country home at Burnham, about three 
miles from Slough, where she essayed riding on horseback ; an 
exercise in which she afterwards came to take so great delight, 
that she bought a couple of saddle-horses of her own, and rode 
whenever opportunity permitted. 

" When she could not spare time to go to Burnham, we often 
spent a long summer day in Wimbledon Park, taking a cold 
collation there, in a kind of cMht, placed at her disposal by 
Mr. Barber Beaumont, the proprietor. On these occasions, my 
brother Edward, myself, and sometimes Mr. Grote, would accom- 
pany her. We all rambled about, enjoying the repose and 
unmolested retirement the place afforded. The nightingales sang, 
in May and June, in the copse ; and to these Jenny always 
listened with interest and pleasure. On one fine evening, as we 
were leaning over a gate, listening to one, the bird stopped. 

" ' There ! ' said Jenny, ' he has seen us ! Now, that is just 
like me. I should have done the same, if I had caught anyone 
intruding on my solitude. And, indeed, those who have compared 
me to the nightingale were not far wrong ; for I have a great 
deal of the nightingale in me.' 

" When at Burnham, she used to study the music of her ncAV 

1847.] IN THE PROVIXCES. 299 

roles among the old beeches, where I have often found her, seated 
on the chibbed root of one, with the book laid open upon her 
knee, and warbling, in a low tone, the music of the score. 

" Mr. Lumley gave ?i fete cliampetre, in the com'se of the seasou, 
at his villa near Putney ; and Jenny consented to go there, pro- 
vided I would accompany her as cliaperone. We duly made our 
appearance at the fite ; but Jenny was so disturbed and discom- 
posed by the staring and incessant curiosity displayed by the 
company with regard to her, that she was anything but comfort- 
able during the two or three hom's of her stay. Mr. Lumley did 
everything he possibly could to restore her good humour, but she 
only desired ' to get away ' ; and we accordingly returned, towards 
nightfall, to Clairville. No sooner were we within its walls, than 
Jenny appeared in a new phase. Instead of allowing me to con- 
tinue my road homewards, she said I ' must stay to tea ' ; then, 
Ho supper.' My brother and I were placed in the seats of 
honour in her little drawing-room. Lights were brought, in 
abundance. The resources of the menage were strained to produce 
various refreshments ; Jenny doing the honours, and waiting 
upon us, with infinite vivacity and grace, and in the highest 
spirits. I was beyond measure diverted by her playful vagaries, 
which she finished, at last, by sitting down to the piano, and 
singing her native melodies with bewitching effect. 

" The night was now wearing away, but still I was not allowed 
to depart. A messenger was despatched, who returned, in an 
hour or so, with my night-dresses ; and I was installed in Jenny's 
own room, which was lighted up with nmnerous wax candles, 
while she retired to a small bedroom adjoining it. 

" This evening — one of many delightful ones, spent during the 
s umm er of 1847 — rises to my memory, as exemplifying the 
humour of this singular being, in a very remarkable light." 

Xo one enjoys a holiday so thoroughly as the artist, whose 
brain has been too long strained at abnormally high pressure. 
Mendelssohn enjoyed his holidays with the artless playfulness of a 
child, making no attempt whatever to conceal the depth of his 
innocent delight — and Mdlle. Lind did the same. But, the work 
of the " season " had not yet come to an end. Much had already 
been done ; but, much more remained to be accomplished, before 
she could really take a prolonged and undivided rest. 

By a singular anomaly, so frequently repeated that its omission, 
at this period of our history, would have seemed more strange 
than its recmTence, the brilliancy of her successes was invariably 

300 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. ix. 

found to bear an inverse proportion to the depth of her previous 

We have seen her, at Berlin, reduced to the verge of despair, 
before the evening of her triumphant cWbut in the grand new 

At Vienna, the appearance of the scdh of the Theater an der 
"Wien so terrified her, that but for Herr Hauser's remonstrances, 
she would have fled the city, and left her engagement with Herr 
Pokoriiy unfulfilled, in the firm belief that her voice was not 
powerful enough to enable her to carry out the task she had 
undertaken to perform. 

And again, in London, she had gone so far as to entreat her 
friend Mrs. Grote to intercede with the manager for the reversal 
of a contract which, she thought, made a demand upon her powers 
to which they were wholly unequal. 

Yet, at Berlin, she succeeded in convincing the most fastidious 
critics in the world of the reality of her genius, before the curtain 
fell upon the first act of her favourite Norma. At Vienna, the 
delighted Austrians unhorsed her carriage, in the hope that they 
might be permitted to drag her home in triumph. And in 
London, she won her way, in one single evening, to a position 
which Tio prima donna had ever previously occupied. 

But, when the London season came to a close, her successes in 
this country were only just beginning. Her fame had already 
penetrated to the remotest corners of the kingdom. The in- 
habitants of all the great towns were burning with impatience 
to hear her, that they might judge for themselves whether the 
rumours that had reached them were exaggerated, or not. And 
those who had already heard her at Her Majesty's Theatre were 
longing to hear her again, in the distant counties to which they 
were returning after the excitement of the season was over. So a 
long and fatiguing provincial tour was organised without delay. 
To give a detailed account of the country performances, seriatim, 
however interesting they may have been at the time, could only 
be wearisome, after the innumerable triumphs we have already 
described ; but, Mrs. Grote's general account of the tour is too 
interesting to be omitted. 

" At the end of an engagement of unparalleled success," she 
says, in her Memoir, " Jenny proceeded on a tour in the provinces, 

1847.] IN THE PKOVINCES. 301 

in which she was accompanied by my brother, Mr. Edward Lewin, 
who acted as manager of her affairs, and directed her relations 
with the concert-speculators, and whose agency, on this occasion, 
was extremely valuable to her. She knew nothing of the English 
language, in the first place ; so that she could do little in the way 
of transacting her artistic business. Her attendant could speak 
only Swedish, which made it the more essential that some friend 
should accompany the ladies, to serve as interpreter on the journey, 
and at the inns. Now, Mr. Lewin was perfectly at home in the 
Swedish language, from having resided for many years at Stock- 
holm ; and he likewise spoke French well enough to communicate 
with the foreign artists included in the company which Jenny had 
associated with her for these provincial performances. Their 
intimacy was one of great confidence, and warm admiration for 
Jenny's many great and engaging gifts doubtless filled the breast 
of my brother Edward ; while the sentiments she entertained 
towards him partook of the early companion, the able and service- 
able secretary, the ' go-between ' with tiresome applicants for her 
bounty, or with servants. He was her playfehow, as it were, in 
the hours of relaxation ; her escort to and from the theatre, and 
the concert-room. And, beyond all this, he ivas my hrotker — a 
title, which, loving me as she came to do during our familiar 
intercourse, conferred an additional charm upon her friendship 
with Edward." * 

And so it came to pass, that, aided by the business capacities 
and firm moral support of this trusty friend, Mdlle. Lind devoted 
the months of August and September to a series of provincial 
performances, undertaken on her own account, and everywhere 
successful. She had secured the assistance of Signor Gardoni, 
Signer F. Lablache and his talented wife, and a competent 
orchestra, conducted by Mr. Balfe ; and, in company with these 
popular and thoroughly conscientious artists, she extended her 
journey to Scotland, and delighted her audiences, wherever she 
appeared. She was feted everywhere ; and everywhere made 
friends. But, in one particular town, the reception she met with 
was so cordial, and the friendships she cemented were so true 
and lasting, that we cannot refrain from giving a circumstantial 
account of the events which there took place. 

"While still busily occupied, in London, with her performances 
at Her Majesty's Theatre, she had received the following letter 
from Dr. Stanley, the Bishop of Norwich : — 

* From Mrs. Grote's MS. ' Memoir' 

302 JENNY LIND. [bk. vii. ch. ix. 

" 38, Lower Brook Street, 
" July 10 tb, 1847. 

" The Bishop of Norwich has just heard that Miss Jenny Lind 
has consented to come to Norwich in September next. He and 
Mrs. Stanley therefore lose no time in expressing the hope that 
she, during her stay, will become their guest at the palace. 

" The Bishop has only to add, that it will be a great gratifica- 
tion to him to make acquaintance with one whose high 
character and principles, from all he has heard, are on a par with 
her superior talents. 

*' Miss Jexny Lind, 

" Clara Villa, 

"Old Brompton." 

This invitation she accepted ; and, on the evening of Tuesday, 
the 21st of September, she duly arrived at the Palace, where she 
was received with a welcome which she remembered with pleasm-e 
till the end of her life. 

The leading local newspaper described the event, with the fervour 
that never fails to animate a provincial journal, put upon its 
mettle by the opportunity of making an unwonted announcement. 
She had been far from well, since her departure from Edinburgh ; 
and was suffering from inordinate fatigue. The public had been 
informed of this, and great anxiety prevailed, even among the 
working classes, who curiously peered into every carriage, and 
thronged around the portal by which the great songstress was to 

The scheme for the week included two performances, over and 
above that originally announced : viz., an evening Concert, on 
Thursday, September the 23rd ; and, on Saturday, the 25th, a 
supplementary morning performance, for the benefit of those who 
were unable to meet the high prices demanded for the original 
tickets. On the Thursday, the greatest effect seems to have been 
produced by Dove sono ; and, on the Saturday, the Swedish songs 
threw the audience into a perfect /z^rore. 

It is pleasant to turn from these details to a'charming little 
episode associated with the morning performance on Saturday. 

At a service in the Cathedral, on the Friday afternoon, 
Mdlle. Lind had heard three of the Choristers sing the Trio Jesus^ 
Heavenly Master, from Spohr's Crucifixion, with a purity of expres- 
sion which moved her to tears. So great, indeed, was the effect 
produced upon her by the fresh young voices, that she afterwards 

1847.] IX THE PKOVINCES. 303 

told the Pra?centor that she "could never forget the boys' 
singing," and delighted Mr. Buck, the organist, by saying that she 
had " never heard children sing so well ; " and, in return for the 
pleasure they had given her, she begged that places might be 
reserved for all the little Choristers, at the morning performance 
on the following day. On arriving at the Hall, her first care 
was, to ascertain that the places accorded to them were satis- 
factory, no slight privilege, at a time when numbers of the 
general public were thankful to pay for places from which 
seeing was impossible, and hearing extremely problematical. 
But this was not the only privilege the little Choristers enjoyed. 
They were more delighted still with another, which excited the 
envy of every one present : for when she came upon the plat- 
form, she greeted them with a smile of recognition, " which," says 
the Norwich newspaper, " will not be readily forgotten, either by 
the boys, or those who saw the passing brightness." 

We have said enough to show that Mdlle. Lind's reception at 
Norwich was no ordinary one ; and the records we have quoted 
would alone be sufficient to prove the fact, if proof were 

But, the most graphic account, by far, of this famous visit, is 
furnished by a very illustrious pen indeed — that of Mr. Arthur 
Penrhyn Stanley, afterwards dear to so many as the Dean of 

In a letter, dated September 22, 1847, Dean (then Mr.) Stanley 
writes : — 

" Dear , 

" You have perhaps seen in the papers that Jenny Lind 
has been ill ; and that, hence, her arrival here was delayed a day, 
and the interest consequently enhanced. 

" 1 should also, perhaps, add, that doubts had been entertained 
whether she could be sufficiently recovered to sing at all. 

" Well ! the fatal Tuesday arrives, the 4.30 train arrives, 
bringing guests of ours — but, no Jenny. 

" All along the line, people had been standing at the stations, 
poking their heads in at the windows. 

" ' Xo — she's not here.' And so on, till the disappointment 
communicated itself to the crowd of 100, 400, or 700, which 
reports, varying in their degrees, represent as assembled at the 
Norwich terminus. And similar aaitations prevail, even within 
the Episcopal precincts, from the humble inhabitants of the Lodge 

304 JENNY LIND. [bk. vir. ch. ix. 

• — who look, with inquisitive glances, into any fly that drives 
through the ancient gates — up to the circle in the Palace drawing- 
room, which runs to the window, at every sound, and starts at 
every opening of the door. 

" Dinner arrives — and still no Lind ! 

"In the midst of dinner — a ring at the door. The dining- 
room door opens — and, enter an electric telegraph, which is 
delivered to the Prelate at the head of the table, and read to the 
listening guests — who numbered, by the way, another Bishop, he 
of Tasmania — in the following words : — 

" * Miss Lind, being detained, will not be at Norwich till 8.30.' 

" The blank faces which appeared at the beginning of the 
sentence revived at the close ; and the only suspense now re- 
mained till the actual horn' had arrived. 

" At that moment, the great bells of S. Peter's Mancroft broke 
out into their most joyous chimes. Some even say that guns 
were fired from the surrounding heights. A few minutes more, 
and the expectant company became aware that the head of the 
musical world had entered the house. 

" Thus far I had written, on the morning after she came ; and, 
as far as the excitement is concerned, it might have been continued 
in the same strain ; how, when it was found that she could not 
appear that night, from excessive fatigue ; and, that she had said, 
* J^espere que je yourrai chanter demain ; mais fen doute^ blank 
horror overpowered the party ; how the Choristers were so affected, 
that one of them burst into tears : how the bells rang till twelve 
at night, and ever and anon, all day ; how her portraits were 
selling in the streets, at a penny a piece ; how the whole town 
was in one great Lind-Maelstrom of excitement ; how Miss 
Buckland was taken for her, when visiting a factory, and followed 
by crowds, Sedgewick encouraging the delusion by caUing her 
' Jenny ' ; how, on one occasion, when she went into the town 
with the Bishop, to visit two schools, the moment that her presence 
became known, the streets wore thronged, and windows thrown 
up, in every direction, with people gazing from them, and turning 
after her, till their necks were almost wrenched from their sockets ; 
how, when she went to the Cathedral, the whole of the North 
Transept, through which lies the approach to the Palace, was so 

densely thronged, that, as I led her — yes, I myself, S ! 

through the mass she had forced asunder, as when Prince x4.1bert 
led the Queen up the Senate House ; all this, and much more, I 
might relate ; but I cannot ; for, great as was the wonder of 
seeing a whole population thus bewitched by one simple Swedish 
girl, it sinks into nothing, before the wonder of herself. 

1847.] IX THE PROVINCES. 305 

"You have seen her, and therefore you can appreciate the 
grace, the dignity, the joyousness, the touching pathos of her 
entrance ; her attitude, her curtsies, her voice. For, whatever 
much beside — as, I doubt not, there is — may be seen in her acting, 
all this is seen in her singing. 

" Twice did I go to the concert, merely for the sake of this. 
For the music, so far as it could be separated from the charm of 
her manner, and the wonder of her voice, which I, alas ! could 
only admire as a natural phenomenon, was to me wholly lost. 

" But, now, you must conceive a character, corresponding to 
all this, and transpiring through a thousand traits of humility, 
gentleness, thoughtfulness, wisdom, piety. The manners of a 
Princess — as I have written to Donkin — with the simplicity of a 
child, and the goodness of an angel. She is very much plainer, 
and more homely, than you would suppose from her countenance, 
as you see it when animated in public ; but her smile, at all times, 
is only equalled by Pusey's. 

" She came on Tuesday night, and is gone this evening ; and it 
seems quite a blank, as if a heavenly visitant had departed. 

" The parting scene was so deeply affecting, that I prefer, for 
the moment, to dwell upon her return from the third and final 
concert, in which the two carriages drove off together from the 
door, one containing the Episcopal party, with the exception of 
myself, who rode on the outside of the second, in which sat the 
wonderful creature herself — the crowd rushing after with enthu- 
siastic cheers. 

"I have already written a whole letter, and yet told you 
nothing, and do not know whether I shall have time to do so tilt 
we meet. But, there are numberless things to tell you, which 
may perhaps regale the Common Eoom in the long winter 
evenings of next term. 

" Ever yours, 

" A. P. Stanley." 

" P.S. — On reading over what I have said, I must begin again, 
lest you should regard all this as idle raving. And yet, I hardly 
know where to begin — not to mention that no details can give an 
adequate impression of the whole. 

" (1). I never saw any one so strongly impressed with the 
consciousness that a natural faculty is a fjift. ' Ce n'est iias un 
merits ; c^est un don ' was, in various ways, constantly expressing 
itself. She said she never samr without reflecting that it might 
be for the last time ; and, inau it was continued to her, Irom 
year to year, for the good of others. 

" (2). In speaking of her profession, generally, it was obvious 


306 JENNY LIND. [be. vil ch. ix. 

that it was not only her greatest object — as, indeed, one could not 
doubt, for a moment — to keep herself unspotted ; but, to elevate 
its whole tone, and character. ' G^est ce quefesimre,'' she said, with 
enthusiasm, in answer to some suggestion that such might be the 
result of her career. 

" (3). On acting, she said that, on the one hand, she could 
not leave her own character altogether behind, when she came on 
the stage ; that, to destroy her individuality Avould destroy all 
that was good in her ; and, that she made it a principle, never to 
represent such passions as would awaken bad feelings. Hence, for 
example, her very different conception of Norma from that of 
Grisi. But, on the other hand, whatever conception she did form 
of the character she acted, she threw herself into it entirely. 
If, as once or twice had happened, she was unable to do this, 
she felt she was acting, and telling lies, and then entirelij failed. 
One instance she gave of this complete identification was, that 
the part of La Sonnamljula fatigued her extremely, from the 
utter impossibility of moving her eyes, during the sleep- 

" (4). The Bishop of Tasmania,* as I told you, being here at 
the time, was so deeply impressed by her excellence, that, when he 
went away, not being able to talk to her in French, he left her a 
letter expressive of his approbation of her course, and of his hopes 
of the good she might effect. This, combined with the great 
interest that she herself took in his objects, so deeply affected her, 
that all her practice for the coming concert had to be thrown 
aside ; and it was with great difficulty that she could sing, when 
she first began. All this you can imagine as much more moving 
than I can describe. 

" (5). Her attention to all the servants and inferiors was most 
remarkable — of which let this suffice. 

" At the last concert, when she appeared for the second time on 
the platform, and just before the beginning of her song, the fixed 
look of vacancy, seeing nothing, and looking at nobody, was 
suddenly exchanged for one of those enchanting smiles which she 
cast below. It was the little boys of the Cathedral Choir, whom 
she had seen at our house, and whose upturned faces she caught 
sight of, at that moment, and she looked upon them, with this 
delightful smile, till the song began. 

" Last of all, you shall have her impression of me ! 

" On the last day, I told her that there was ' guelque cliose 
cf extraordinaire dans la voix ; ' but that, otherwise, her singing, 
in itself, produced no impression whatever upon me. This, she 

* Bishop Nixon. 

1847.] IN THE PROVINCES. 307 

said, was by far the most amusing thing she had heard ; and, that 
she should never forget it. 

" And now I must end. " Ever yours, 

"A. P. Stanley."* 

Do not let us forget that it is no professional critic who is 
writing, here, bat an independent witness, whose words are 
accepted with love and reverence, even by those who do not 
always agree with him, wherever the English language is spoken. 
And it is not too much to say, that, in this particular case, his 
opinion was shared by everyone who had enjoyed the privilege of 
hearing or conversing with the lady by whose personality he was 
so deeply impressed. 

The day on which she took leave of them was a veritable day 
of mom-ning. 

The events of the last few weeks in England, carried down to 
the actual moment of departure, are thus described by Mrs. 
Grote : — 

" At the end of September, I joined Jenny at Bath, along with 
Mr. Lumley. My brother was obliged to leave us on the first of 
October, and I was induced, by her persuasions, to remain by her 
side for a few days, first, at Clifton, where she sang, and afterwards 
at Exeter. Mr. Grote joined us, at the last-named place, and 
escorted the party back to London. 

" On board the steamer, we took a most affectionate leave of 
her, the sadness of which was relieved by the hope of meeting 
again within a few months ; Mr. Lumley having induced her to 
contract a second engagement at Her Majesty's Theatre. 

" As we rowed away from the ship, we saw her white handker- 
chief waving in the darkness, wafting to us her last adieux ! 

" She left behind her, in England, a splendid reputation, and 
the most extensive personal interest and sympathy which it was 
possible for a Avoman to create ; and she also carried with her, as 
the fruit of five months' work, a considerable sum of money — 
such a sum as, till now, she had not been mistress of." j 

And, here, as she sails away from England, on board the 
Hamburg packet, the John Bull, we too must take leave of her 
for a while, to meet her again, at the end of her journey, sur- 
rounded by the beloved friends she had left behind her in Berlin. 

* Transcribed from the original letter, by the kind permission of the late 
Dean's literary executor. 

t From Mrs. Grote's MS. Memoir. 

X 2 

308 JENNY LIND. [bk. vni. ch. i. 




How strangely our forebodings are sometimes justified by after 
events quite beyond conception at the time they were uttered. 

While Mdlle. Lind was most painfully under the influence of 
the terror with which she had once looked forward to her visit to 
London, she had written to Madame Wichmann : — 

" Vienna, March 26, 1847. 

" I must really go to London. Will you send me a few words 
to Munich, by the next mail ? I shall soon be there, staying 
with the Kaulbachs. 

" How beautifully everything has gone with me, here in 
Yienna ! And, how nice it would be for me, if I had not to 
go to London. But, perhaps, even that may have its good 
side ! " * 

It had indeed had its good side ; and the prophecy that had 
been uttered in the bitterness of anxiety, had been most gloriously 
fulfilled — as she herself confessed, when she wrote : — 

"London, August 12, 1817. 

" How delighted I am that I have finished here ! For it is 
better to look back upon the accomplishment of so great a thing, 
than to look forward to it. The English public has been un- 
exampled in its kir.dness to me." 

Truly, it had been very kind to her ; and she had richly 
deserved it. The arrangement had been perfectly fair, on both 

* From the Wichmann collection. 


sides. She had proved herself worthy of the recognition 
accorded to her by the public ; and the public had proved itself 
worthy of her. 

We left her on board the John Bull ; waving an affectionate 
good-bye to her English friends, Mr. and Mrs. Grote, and Mr. 
Lumley ; and looking forward to an equally affectionate greeting 
from the dear ones from whom she had parted, in the previous 
autumn, at Berlin, whither she was now wending her way, in 
fulfilment of a brief engagement at the Royal Opera-House, 
before her return to Stockholm. 

As early as the 25th of July, she had written, to Madame 
Wichmann : — 

" A few days ago, I received a very nice letter from Kiistner. 
You know how friendly he always was to me. I am quite sure 
that he is an honest and good man ; and I shall write — which is 
a great deal from me ! — to tell him that I cannot stay long in 
Berhn, or sing more than twice or three times at the utmost, as 
I leave England so late — not until nearly the end of September. 
"We cannot, therefore, be long together, dearly beloved, as I must 
get to Sweden before the weather becomes too unfavourable. 

" Do you know, the Professor's likeness of me * has pleased the 
Queen immensely — and now I come to you to ask a very great 
favour. Lablache is also so enchanted with the portrait, that I 
have been obliged to promise him that I will ask the Professor 
to let him have a copy of it. I shall be eternally obliged if my 
Professor will let me have a little head — you know well what I 
mean : 7mj head — for Lablache. He will be here till the middle 
of August. Ah ! I entreat you, do me this great kindness. He 
has begged so hard for it. 

"We are quite well. I am altogether beside myself with 
enchantment for England." f 

And again, on the 30th of September : — 

" I leave my beloved England, next Thursday, the 5th. I 
cannot, however, tell the exact day of my arrival in Berlin. I 
will write again from Hamburg." 

How different was the greeting now awaiting her in the 

* The marble medallion, by Professor "Wichmann. 
t From the Wichmann collection. 

310 JENNY LIND. Lbk.{viii. ch. i. 

Prussian capital, from that with which she had been received on 
her first appearance there, in the winter of 1844 ! 

Then, all had been uncertainty. Vague expectation, on the 
part of the public ; despondency, of the most painful kind, on 
that of the debutante. And now, what a change had taken place ! 
There was no more doubt. The triumph was assured. Her 
reception in Berlin, on this, her third visit, seemed to include 
within itself all the enthusiasm that had been gradually gaining 
new strength through the experiences of the two preceding 

Herr Eellstab's account of the final farewell to the Berlin 
stage, which took place, on the occasion of Mdlle. Lind's benefit, 
on the 17th of October, 1847, after she had sung twice, in La 
Figlia del Regfjimento, and once, in Der Freischutz, exceeded in 
warmth even that given by his English confreres. 

''''La Sonnambida ! " he says, " Jenny Lind's benefit ! Such a per- 
formance — how could it have been otherwise ? — must of necessity 
awaken a sympathy, and attract a concourse, the like of which 
has not often been recorded in the history of our theatre. We 
should have told of a deep joy, filled with such splendours, such 
magnificence, as can only accompany a high festival of highest 
Art, had it not been that our feeling was, in truth, less that of 
tumultuous joy than of real sorrow. It was, after all, that which 
we had been told it would be — the last evening on which this 
unique, this unapproachable artist, would appear before us on her 
field of victory, the stage — the last evening, at least, in so far as 
a German audience was concerned. A winter of rest in her own 
country ; a farewell visit to magnificent Albion, the rich ofi'erings 
of whose splendour had been laid at her feet ; and then — the 
course of the purest star that has ever guided us by its light to 
the Heaven of Art will reach its close. 

" If anything can give us consolation, in this too early and 
irreparable loss now mourned by Art, it must be sought for in 
the divine thought uttered by Goethe, on the occasion of 
Schiller's death : — 

" ' It is good for us, that he was taken in the fulness, in the 
splendom' of life ; for mortals rest in our memory, as they were 
when they left the earth. Therefore it is, that Achilles remains 
with us, an ever-dying youth.' 

" And gratefully will every wish for that which is good and 
best, follow the departing guest ; whether the steps of her future 
life lead to still greater heights of publicity ; or, to the still 


valleys of a retired existence, whicli often afford a purer, if a less 
exciting form of happiness. 

" L. Rellstab." * 

And so, on that memorable night, the great " Berlin period " 
passed out of the artist's life, like a marvellous, an almost in- 
comprehensible dream. Passed out of her life, and out of the 
lives of her audience, of her admirers, of her fellow-worshippers 
at the shrine of Art, never to be renewed, and yet, more certainly 
still, never to be forgotten. The last note had been sung,| and the 
last word said. But, the word that dwelt longest in the memory 
of her to whom it was addressed had not been spoken at the 
Royal Opera-House, but, at the Palace of Sans Souci — not by the 
people, but by the King of Prussia. Following the example of 
the Emperor of Austria, King Frederick William lY. of Prussia, 
after a Court Concert given on the 16th of October, appointed 
Mdlle. Lind his Kammersdngerin — his Chamber- Vocalist ; and 
wrote, to inform her of the fact, in terms strangely simple, com- 
pared with the tone of those in which such decrees are usually 
promulgated : — 

" I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of adding my own 
acknowledgment to the universal recognition which your rare 
talent and perfect mastery over the Art of Song have commanded, 
and I wish to prove this to you by herewith appointing you my 

" Sans Souci, October 16, 1847. 

(Signed) " Friedrich Wilhel:^!, R. 

" An Demoiselle Jenny Lind." % 

* Kgl. Berl.(Voss.) Zeitung (Oct. 19, 1847). See also, Gesammelte Schriften 
von L. Eellstah, Tom. xx., p. 407 et seq. 

t Mdlle. Lind's last notes had been heard Id the Royal Opcra-Honse, on 
the 18th of October, at a Concert given in aid of the members of the Chorus, 
for which occasion Herr Taubert had composed the Song, Ich muss nun 
einmal singen, then sung by her for the first time. 

X " Ich kann es mir nicht versagen, der allgemeinen Anerkennung welche 
Ihrem seltenen Talent und Ihrer vollendeten Meisterschaft in der Kunst 
des Gesanges gezollt wird, die meinige hinzu-zufugen, und wiinsclie Ihncn 
dieselbe dadurch zu bethatigen, dass ich Sie hierdurch zu meiner Kam- 
mersdngerin ernenne. 

" Sans-Souci. den 16 Oktober, 1847, 

(Signed) "Fpjedrich Wilhelm E 

" An Demoiselle Jenny Lind." 

312 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. i. 

On the same day, His Majesty made known his command to 
Graf von Redern in the following brief but expressive words : — 

" I have appointed the singer, Jenny Lind, to be my Chamber- 
Singer ; and have thought it right that you should be hereby 
made acquainted with the fact. 

(Signed) " Friedrich Wilhelm.* 

" Sans Souci, October 16, 1817." 

The explanation of this memorandum is that, in the natural 
order of things, the notification of the King's desire should have 
been formally conveyed to Mdlle. Lind through the agency of 
Count Redern ; but, in this case, as we have already seen. His 
Majesty, departing from customary etiquette, had enriched the 
comphment with an additional grace, by addressing the letter 
containing the necessary announcement to Mdlle. Lind herself. 

And, bearing with her this honourable patent, so frankly 
given, and so nobly won, Mdlle. Lind left Berlin, on the 19th 
of October ; sang once in Die Regimentstochter, at the Stadt- 
Theatre, at Hamburg, on the 20th ; and, immediately after- 
wards, proceeded to Stockholm, in fulfilment of philanthropic 
intentions which will be described in detail in our next chapter. 

* " Ich habe die Sangerin Jenny Lind zu meiner Kammersangerin ernannt, 
und habe Sie davon hierdurcli in Kenntniss setzen wollen. 
" Sans Souci, den 16 Oktober, 1847. 

" Friedrich Wilhelm." 

( 313 ) 



*' I FEEL SO strangely content," she wrote on December 15, to 
Madame Wichmann ; " I am so happy and so quiet, at home 
again. It suits me so well ; and the people are my own country- 
folk ; and they love me for that." 

Her friends gathered quickly about her. 

"The only thing that gladdened me," writes Friiulein Yon 
Stedingk in her Diary, " was that Jenny Lind came back to 
Sweden. She was to spend the winter here ; not for taking rest, 
though she greatly needed it, but to enchant us by her unsurpassed 
talent, and to devote her receipts to the founding of Art Scholar- 
ships and to the Royal Theatre. 

" She spoke of England with delight ; and she seemed to prefer 
it to all other countries. I could have wished that she was not 
to return there ! " 

We must, now, hear what she was doing with these receipts to 
which Fraulein Yon Stedingk refers. 

Her first appearance was to be in La FigJia, on December 3rd. 
The price of the tickets for all her appearances was raised 50 per 
cent, on their ordinary cost ; and on December 2nd, in an evening 
paper, the AftonMacl, an explanation of this raised demand was 
given by Jenny Lind herself. She wrote a letter, addressed to 
the owner of the newspaper, Mr. Lars Hierta, a great merchant 
and distinguished citizen of Stockholm, requesting the insertion 
in the AftonlJad of the following communication : — 

" At the moment of reappearing, after an interval of two years, 
on the stage of my native country, before that public, which, from 
the time of my first steps on the path of Art, has shown me so 
much favour, it is the desire of my heart to ask for a continuance 
of the same rare good-will for the performances, in which I am 

314 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ii. 

now going to appear. I am moved to this by a special reason, 
which I beg respectfully to submit to the attention of the 
enlightened public ; and I also consider myself in duty bound to 
furnish an explanation of the reason for raising the prices at the 
representations in which I am now going to take part. 

" My most ardent wish is to be allowed to be of some lasting 
use to Native Art ; to offer some kind of souvenir, more permanent 
than the quickly-passing moments of my appearance on the 
boards ; and to prepare for my countrymen enjoyments of the 
loftier kind, for the years to come, when my own efforts shall 
have ceased. I hope to do this by laying the foundations of a 
College, where young minds may be consecrated to both Art and 

" Having been, myself, in childhood, a witness to the privations 
and trials through which the young and needy have to struggle 
in this profession, which holds so many thorns amongst the roses, 
I should count it the most beautiful gain of the Singer's gift if, 
by means of this, I could contribute to help those who are 
favoured by nature but ill-treated by fortune, to a development 
of their talent in comparative ease and comfort, and to a 
culture that will be helpful alike from a moral and artistic point 
of view. 

" With this intention, I have assigned the whole amount of my 
portion of the receipts from the representations in which I shall 
appear, towards establishing a fund, the income of which is to be 
devoted to an institution for educating poor children who, while 
specially endowed for the stage, lack the care of parents or 
relatives, without which, in a moral and artistic respect, they 
either lose, or else fail to reach, the higher development, for 
which their gifts would give reasonable hopes. 

" The money obtained will be received and managed by two 
Trustees, until the amount of the Capital will allow of the interest 
being used for the object in view. 

"The lenient kindness of the public which hitherto has en- 
couraged my efforts in the service of Art, will — I trust — follow 
me also now that these endeavours are dedicated to a work, the 
success of which must be a matter of interest to every friend of 
Dramatic Art within our Fatherland. 

"Jenny Lind. 

" Stockholm, 2nd December, 1847." 

This communication to the paper signalises an intention which, 
for some time forward, became one of her primary interests. It 
was her tribute to Sweden. From the time that she won her 
place in the European di'ama, she never sang in hei native land 

1848.] HOME AGAIN. 315 

again on her own behalf. She would take no penny from it. 
Rather, she bent herself to repay to it, by gifts, the support and 
the kindness which it had given her in her youth. She had been 
'• a child of the State," brought up by its fatherly solicitude, at 
its charge, at its risk. She felt herself pledged by her honour, as 
w^ell as by her affection, to make to it a thankful, a generous 

Then, too, she had a great desire to find adequate work and 
interest to occupy her in her northern home. It should not be 
for idleness, or for uselessness, that she would retreat thither 
from the big world. If she ceased to do good by her Dramatic 
talents, as she must, through leaving the stage, she would, yet, 
find other ways of helping men. " I have no fear of feeling any 
void," she rates during this very month to Madame Wichmann, 
"for I can do much good here, and have already begun to set 
about it." 

And there were special reasons, as she thought, for some such 
effort at doing good. For, profoundly as she loved her people, 
she felt, on her retm^n this time to Stockholm, an increased sense 
of their pecuUar moral perils. It may have been that the 
religious influence, under which she had passed in England, had 
deepened her alarm at all that was superficial, and thoughtless. 
Certainly, she was at times, during the winter, greatly afflicted at 
the lack of seriousness which she met on all sides : " I love my 
fatherland as much as ever," she wrote, on the 14th of February, 
1848, to Madame von Jaeger, her devoted Viennese friend, whom 
she salutes as " Loved and honoured Mother ; " but — 

"There is, here, I confess, such frivolousness in everything, 

that I am sad I sometimes doubt whether I can find joy 

and happiness here The last three years have given me 

a great deal clearer insight. Do not imagine that they do not 
treat me well ; on the contrary : I have nothing at all to complain 
of, myself : only, it does pain me that our nation should, through 
French influence, have lost so much of its true self." 

So she felt : and, it was in order to attempt to rescue the 
stage from these perverting influences which had largely 
dominated it since the early part of the century, that she set 
about her present scheme on behalf of her own old Theatre- 

316 JENNY LIND. [bk. yiii. ch. ii. 

It was a touching naturalness, which drew her heart towards 
the scene of her childhood. Her first deliberate act of permanent 
charity was to be devoted to sparing other children some of the 
trials and perils, which had been her own lot. Her own experience 
had taught her how hard it is for the gifts inbred by nature to 
spring up into their full estate, unless they are compassed about 
with moral succours. In this School of hers, the young lives are 
to be consecrated to virtue as well as Art. 

As years went on the design itself was changed, owing to 
certain mental changes which passed over her own spirit. Enough 
now to say that the Eoyal Theatre was crowded night after night 
in spite of the raised cost, and that the entire sum of her own 
gains from the season went to the proposed fund. Her agree- 
ment with the theatre was that she should receive a third of the 
receipts which remained, after the payment of current expenses, 
on each night of her appearance ; and that she should be entitled 
to name for herself the date of a benefit performance. She was 
also given the right to select her own pieces. The contract is 
signed by Count Hugo Hamilton, the Intendant. 

Her voice, about which a few suspicious rumours had been 
flying about, owing to the fatigue and strain of her incessant 
efforts in Germany, was in its normal splendour. " She is now 
in her beloved Stockholm," wrote Madame Wichmann, on 
December 27th, to Madame Jaeger, whom these rumours had 
disquieted, " and has rested herself, and has appeared in her 
fullest power and glory, at the theatre." 

She sang in the Figlia ten times during the winter and spring 
months, three of these performances being given for the benefit 
of (1) the Theatre Pension Fund ; (2) the Chorus, and (3) the 
Conductor, J. F. Berwald. 

She gave four performances of the Sonnam'bula in January, 
and four of Lucia in March and April — singing this part for the 
fifty-sixth time on the Stockholm stage on April 3rd. The 
FreiscMtz was sung twice, once on behalf of Strandberg, the 
first tenor at the Royal Theatre, once on behalf of the Chapel 
at the Deaf and Dumb Institute, near Stockholm. The first of 
these performances was given on March 7th, the anniversary of 
her dehut in the part of Agatha on the memorable 7th of March, 
1838. She now sang it for the forty-first time on those boards. 

Besides this work at the Opera, there were concerts — one at 

1848.] HOME AGAIN. 317 

Her Majesty the Queen Desideria's on December 1st ; * and all 
the rest for old friends, and associates ; for Mina Fimdin, her 
dear ally in childhood ; for Eandel, the concert-master ; for the 
Artists' Guild Pension Fund ; for Josephson, the composer ; for 
Arnold, an organist and composer ; for the Royal Orchestra 
Pension Fund ; for D'Aubert, the concert-leader ; for Theodor 
Sack, the principal violoncellist at the Royal Opera. So it went 

And finally, for the thirty-third and thirty-fourth time in 
Stockholm, she gave Norma, first for the machinists of the 
theatre ; and secondly for sundry other persons, now unnamed, 
on whose behalf the tickets were sold by public auction. 

"With Norma, it all ended, on April 12th. It was her last 
appearance on the Swedish stage — her last representation in the 
theatre, which had heard the first notes of her child-voice, as she 
tripped over its boards, a tiny girl hardly ten years old, bewitching 
the audience by her astonishing, " almost unnatural " cleverness 
— the theatre which had thrilled to the revealed splendour of her 
genius on the historic night when she discovered her power, and 
" went to bed a new creature." There, on those boards, familiar 
to her feet as the very floor of home, she had won for herself those 
early dramatic experiences, with which she had fascinated and 
enthralled Europe ; there she ji, had, step by step, moved from 
triumph to triumph, until the artistic resources of her native 
land had been exhausted, and she had been diiven, by the im- 
pulsion of an aspiring spirit, to seek, elsewhere, for that develop- 
ment which should be level with her fullest powers. Thither she 
had returned, with the required power, to find the same faitliful 
enthusiasm ready to respond to her, only with more ardent loyalty 
than ever. So long, so close was the story which knit her to that 
Stockholm tlieatre ; such deep memories lay about her there : 
such a record of hopes and fears and wonders : and, now, that 
page was to be closed for ever. For the very last time, she had 
waited in those wings for the step forward which should carry her 
into the roar of welcome. For the very last time within the well- 
known walls, she had felt the whole body of silent people absorbed 
into her o^vn masterful and magnetic influence, as she held them, 
spellbound, within the power of her gaiety or her passion. It 

* She was made First Court Singer by Oscar I. on December 21th of that 
year; and she retained this special privilege until her death. 

318 . JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ii. 

was all over, on that night of April the 12th when the last notes 
of Norma died on the ear. 

Friiulein Von Stedingk was present and writes : 

" She surpassed herself. When she came before the curtain at 
the close, the whole audience rose ; and many an eye was wet." 

The famous picture of her as Norma, by Sodermark, which is 
the treasured pride of Stockholm, was painted during this season. 
It was subscribed for by the employes at the Koyal Theatre, and 
presented to the theatre to be placed there, on January Gth, 1849. 
It put the seal on the belief of her own people, that her delineation 
of Norma was her most triumphant achievement ; and most 
certainly it was the character which she herself always selected, 
whether as a challenge to criticism on her entry upon some new 
boards, or as her best farewell to any familiar stage. 

In the middle of all this smooth happiness, came the irritating 
news of the verdict in the suit of Bunn v. Lind. That wearisome 
tangle had, at last, come to a close. On the 2ord of February, 
the case was heard in London before Sir W. Erie, sitting in the 
Court of Queen's Bench. The damages claimed were £10,000 ; 
and these were based on the standard receipts of Madame 
Malibran in the height of her fame. The Attorney-General 
pleaded that the contract had dropped through Mr. Bunn being 
unable, on his own showing, to provide the music for Vielka by 
the date mentioned in the contract. He argued that, as to 
damages, all Mr. Bunn could claim of positive loss was the price 
of a journey to Berlin, and the £1.50 spent by him in translating 
the Feldlager into English. Sir W. Erie summed up minutely ; 
and the jury finally gave a verdict in favour of Mr. Bunn, with 
£2,500 damages. 

Mr. Lumley had, as we know, made himself responsible for the 
loss. But the result must have been bitterly vexatious. Of 
course, she had let the proper date pass before which she was to 
make her objections to the contract, and so had put herself 
legally wrong. But we are aware how ignorant she was of all 
the arts by which to escape the meshes of the law, or to guard 
herself against the brutalities of managers. She had been trapped 
into the engagement before she knew what she was doing or the 
situation into which she was coming. Her reasons against the 

^^^^^^^K ^ ^^^^^^^^^^H 

% '^^^^^^H 


Je72m}u^2lm^ ^'71 me cAai^r/e'7 c/^^Yo^m// pr^m- a /f/ry//y?r^yL^u^,_Jef/e^/ma''/J^ 


1848.] HOME ACxAIX 319 

contract were real : she could not have learned English in the 
time ; her nervons dread of failnre throngh singing in a foreio-u 
tongue, was profoundly genuine, however improbable it might 
sound in the atmosphere of a law court. We know the extremity 
of her self -mistrust, the agony of her diffidence. Bunn treated 
her appeals with a vulgar insolence, that was bad enough to 
deprive him of all claims to compensation. As we read his rough 
letters, it softens our regret that, for conduct of this type, he was 
once soundly thrashed by Macready. 

However, so, at last, the tiresome business is over ; and we can 
be thankful to hear no more of it. It was the only occasion, in 
all her life, in which she ever heard herself accused of motives 
which it was a degradation to her even to be charged with. To 
those who ever knew her, it sounds like a silly jest that she 
should ever have had to endure the accusation of rapacity, or 
sharp dealing— so incomprehensible and so remote would such 
motives have always been to her. But, jest as it may sound to 
us, to her it was cruel and bitter enough ; and, no doubt, the 
verdict stung her like a sharp blow. 

Yet no record remains of its effect upon her ; and home was 
kind and tender and soothing ; and every trouble there, was 
clearing ; and, in witness of this, we will make one little record 
which will happily mark this season of farewell to the Swedish 
stage. The time of her entry upon its boards, in 1829, had been, 
it will be well remembered, a time of much domestic trouble ; 
and that theatre had been to little Jenny, a refuge and a home, 
to which she ran for peace. But, now, things were bettered! 
Her mother, who had, with such a shrinking heart, handed over 
her child to a scene so ahen and so dreaded, was now freed from 
the conflict of a pinched and broken life, and had softened, and 

"My own real mother is just come in ; " Jenny writes on the 
14th of February, to the Viennese lady, Madame Jaeger, whom 
she always addressed as " mother." 

_ " She and my father live in the country " (in the house she had 
given them), " and have come in to-day to see iWEUsir cVAmore, 
in which I am ' Adina.' My mother begs to send a thousand 
greetings to you, unknown as you are to her, and as I tell her 
what you have been to me, her eyes fill with tears of joy . . 
My mother is so sympathetic towards me (which, perhaps, was 

320 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ii. 

not always the case) ; and she seems to be so happy, and con- 
tented, — a happiness which I had hardly dared to hope for." 

In contrast to this home-gladness, there lay heavy on her soul, 
all this time, the misery of Mendelssohn's death.* 

She could not bear even to open a letter to her from Madame 
Birch-Pfeiffer in which she felt that there would be reference to 
it : for, as she wrote back : — • 

" As soon as I am obliged to hear or read anything about him, 
I get almost incapable of carrying out the great duty which I 
have taken upon my shoulders. 

" Death has lately robbed me of several of my dearest friends : 
so that I am afraid I shall soon begin to feel cold here in the 
North ! And yet, dear good mother, my heart is tied and 
chained to this ground and this people. God be praised for it ! 

" I am well : though I have no rest. All is right now with my 
parents. Besides singing in Operas, I sing two or three times a 
month in concerts, and can thus help some on to a better lot in 

" To-day the sun is shining brightly. Oh ! if you could but 
see the white sparkling snow on the roofs ! From my window I 
see several mills : and a few churches ; and on one of them sits 
a gilt cock who probably amuses himself. Oh ! how I wish that 
I too could be in the air, for the earth oppresses me. Mother, 
mother, I do not belong to this world ; my heart will not stay 
in its narrow prison ! . . . . 

" But, in spite of all this, there is no being who could have more 
reason to be happy and grateful than I ! I am both. Farewell 1 
God keep you all ! 

" Your loving 

" Jenny." 

So she wrote to her "German mother" on Jan. 22. In the 
following month, in the letter already quoted to her " Austrian 
mother," Madame Jaeger, she wrote : — 

" Ah ! mother ! what a blow for me was the death of Men- 
delssohn ! That is why I have been silent so long. For the first 
two months after it, I could not put a word down on paper : and 
ever3^thing seemed to me to be dead. Never was I so happy — so 
lifted in spirit, as when I spoke with him ! and seldom can there 
have been in the world two beings who so understood one another, 

* November 4, 1817. 

1848.] HOME AGAIN. 321 

and so sympathized with one another as we I How glorious and 
strange are the ways of God ! On the one hand, He gives all ! 
On the other, He takes all away ! Such is life's outlook." 

For two whole years after that fatal Xovember, she could not 
bear to sing a " Lied " of Mendelssohn's. With his loss, there 
had passed out of her life the profoundest and most intimate 
influence under which she had ever come ; for it was an influence 
which touched her whole being, at once in its most real and its 
most ideal elements. With him, she felt the same blending of 
the artistic aspiration with the personal character which she knew 
in herself ; and both with character and with aspiration, she was 
in innermost sympathy. To both, the artist-life was a reverential 
trust, endowed with awe, hallowed by mystic responsibilities. 
Drawn to one another by this vital unity of motive, they responded, 
each to the other, with a glad and delightful freedom such as be- 
longs only to those whose central selves are in perfect touch. Each 
word that one or the other spoke was known to be understood. 
There is a joy in such sympathetic intimacies which is electric. 
Both had felt it in its most ideal form. And, now, it is this 
which is gone from her. It left a blank which the slow years 
could never quite fill ; but the loss would have been yet more 
deadening, were it not that her enjoyment of his influence had 
been so very, very brief, that the heart was bound to recover its 
freshness ; and nowhere sooner than at home, in the thick of 
good and happy work. 

We have seen to what charitable purposes eight of her special 
operatic performances, and all her concerts had gone. 

There remained the winnings earned by twenty-seven nights at 
the Royal Opera, — about £2,200 — all of which went to the fund 
which she had planned for the Theatre-School. This fund was to 
be allowed to accumulate by interest until it had reached a certain 

So the final season on the home boards came to its end. She 
must leave for England. 

" I delight in thinking of my next London season," she wrote 
to Madame Jaeger : " for I have so many reasons for being 
grateful towards the London public that it lays a necessity upon 
me to make a worthy return for it all ! I believe that the coming 
summer will bring me many joys, for I am taking to London, as 



[BK. Tin. CH. II. 

my companion, my good, old master (Herr Berg) and his wife, and 
little daughter : and I cannot be better off than with them ! " 


There was another long-standing friend, besides Herr Berg, 
w^ho was particularly concerned with her happy hopes at this 
moment. This was Herr Julius Giinther. We do not propose, 
in this work, to enter into all the private and domestic incidents 
of our heroine's life, except so far as they touch her artistic career. 
It is not for us, therefore, to follow minutely the long story, over 
which we, here, must give a rapid glance. We need but indicate, 
in the briefest manner, how matters had stood between her, and 
Herr Giinther, before they reached this decisive moment. With 
him she had sung continually both before and after her visit to 
Paris — ^both in Opera, and in the concert-room. The obvious 
contact, which this involved, had grown into a closer intimacy 
during her triumphant season, in 1 844, at Stockholm ; and just 
before leaving for her great experiment in Berlin in 1845, this 
intimacy had been recognised as tending to an engagement. This 
understanding had become strained, and practically suspended, 
under the busy and wonderful experiences of her long absence on 
the Continent, and in England. Herr Giinther had been wan- 
dering, as well as she : he had been in Paris, under Garcia ; much 
had been happening on both sides. But, now, that they were 
both back again in Sweden, the former relations revived, and 
culminated. Herr Giinther saw reasons to trust that, in spite 
of his fears lest this European success, this splendid career, should 
carry her beyond his scope and influence, she, still, would respond 
to his appeal ; and he spoke ; and he found favour, and rings 
were exchanged. She sailed on April 13th. 

When the hour of departure arrived, everything was done to 
heighten its excitement. The Swedes, touched by her magni- 
ficent generosity, were eager to signalize their admiration in a 
special outburst of enthusiasm. " No one can remember a more 
solemn farewell offered to any private person," wrote one of the 
officials at the theatre. 

" She left at 2 p.m. by the steamer ' Gauthiod.' Already, as 
early as twelve o'clock huge heaps of people began arriving, at 
^>keppsbron, which was filled with foot-passengers and carriages. 
The ships nearest the ' Gauthiod ' were also crowded, even up in 
the rigging, and so were numbers of rowing-boats, moving about 

1848.] HOME AGAIN. 323 

in the port.' The choir of the O-p'cva were placed in barges near to 
the steamer, and sang several pieces, conducted by choir-master 
"Wennbom. In another boat, the band of the Uplands regiment 
had taken their stand, performing airs from the Operas in which 
she had appeared. 

" As the steamer weighed anchor, the multitude gave repeated 
cheers, men and women waving hats and handkerchiefs, which 
continued as long as a glimpse of the ' Gauthiod ' could be caught. 
She seemed very much moved ; and often had to interrupt her 
friendly responses with her handkerchief, to use it to wipe away 
her tears." 

As she reviewed, in her memory, this winter in Stockholm, she 
was stirred to even more than her usual fervour for all that was 

She put her retrospect into words, in a letter from London, 
written on July 10th, to Madame Kaulbach at Munich : — 

" I have been in my beloved country, and have felt most deeply 
how powerful is the love for it that I have cherished from child- 
hood. My King — the whole Eoyal Family — the country — the 
ground — oh ! I could have kissed them all ! And with tears of 
profound reverence in my eyes ! "What a glorious time I have 
had there ! The cordiality, the feeling of home, the language, — 
all enchanted me. And I was staying so pleasantly with my 
dear good aunt ; and I got together a great deal of money for 
the poor. . . . See, my dearest friend ! This is what I have 
experienced ! " 

Y 2 

324 JENXY LIND. [ 



And now, the course of our narrative brings us back, once more, 
to Clairville Cottage, where Mdlle. Lind arrived, after her long 
sojourn in Stockholm, on the 21st of April, 1848 ; and where, a few 
hours afterwards, Mrs. Grote found her, " looking well, and in 
gay cheerful mood, anticipating, with agreeable feelings, the 
coming months of her stay." 

Her Majesty's Theatre opened, for the season of 1848, on 
Saturday, the 19th of February ; and it was confidently expected 
that Mdlle. Lind's return to the boards on which she had won so 
many laurels would take place on Saturday, the 29th of April, 
immediately after the Easter recess ; but, at her own request, the 
event was postponed, until the 4th of May. 

The Opera chosen for her re-appearance was La Sonnamhida , 
of which Chopin, who had just come to London, wrote, at the 
beginning of May, to his friend Grzymala : — 

" I have been to the Italian Opera, where Jenny Lind appeared, 
for the first time, in La Sonnamtula. 

" I have also made Jenny Lind's personal acquaintance. "When, 
a few days afterwards, I paid her a visit, she received me in the 
most amiable manner, and sent me an excellent ' stall ' for the 
Opera, where I was capitally seated, and heard excellently. 

"This Swede is indeed an original from head to foot. She 
does not show herself in the ordinary light, but in the magic 
rays of an aurora IwreaUs. Her singing is infallibly pure and 
true ; but, above all, I admire her jpiano passages, the charm of 
which is indescribable." * 

In the following July, Chopin gave two matinees in London. 
In describing these, a musical periodical flippantly observes : — 

* From ' The Life of Chopin, by Fr. Niecks. (London, 1890.) 


"M. Chopin has lately given two performances of his own 
pianoforte music at the residence of Mrs. Sartoris, which seem 
to have given much pleasure to his audiences, among whom 
Mdlle. Lind, who w^as present at the first, seems to be the most 

" We were not present at either ; and, therefore, have nothing 
to say on the subject." * 

It is gratifying, in connection with Chopin's expressions of 
admiration for Mdlle. Lind's artistic nature, to know that she felt 
an equal admiration for his extraordinary genius — an admiration 
which increased as years rolled on, and as she became better 
acquainted with his works, of which she never spoke without 

On the Gth of May, La SonnamJjula was repeated, and again on 
the 16th ; on the 11th, 13th, and 18th, Mdlle. Lind sang in La 
Fifjlia del Reggimento ; and, on the 25th, she appeared, for the 
first time in England, in Donizetti's Lucia cli Lammermoor. 

Lucia had always been one of her favourite Operas. She 
had sung in it many times in Stockholm ; and, occasionally, in 
Hanover, and other parts of Germany. The part of Lucy Ashton 
was, indeed, pre-eminently suited to the display of her peculiar 
talent. She painted, to perfection, the- vacillating character of 
the timid, shrinking maiden ; her love for Edgar Ravenswood, 
devoted, true, faithful even, so far as she had strength to resist the 
pressm-e put upon her ; her womanly determination, withstanding, 
for a time, the alternate threats and entreaties of her despicable 
brother, yet not courageous enough to bear the last dread shock ; 
her passionate despair, when she had broken faith with her lover, 
and signed the irrevocable contract ; above all, her fatal madness, 
depicted in that last great scene, in which she aimed at, and was 
admitted by all to have reached, an ideal so high, that its infinite 
pathos, its ineffable sadness, could only be compared with the 
touching charm that some of the greatest of our English actresses 
have, on rare occasions, succeeded in weaving around the gentle 
hallucinations of Ophelia. 

The following critique is one of many which appeared on the 
day after the performance : — 

"Last night was the most remarkable one of the season. 

* From The Musical World (July 8, 1848). 

320 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. cii. hi. 

Mdlle. Lind appeared, for the first time, in Lucia di Lammermoor, 
and raised to the highest enthusiasm the immense audience that 
had attended. 

" Mdlle. Lind gave the character a stamp that distinguished it 
from any other rendering, bringing out the distress and madness 
of the unhappy ' Lucia ' with a force that has hitherto remained 
unknown. The sudden horror that came over her, and paralysed 
her for a moment, when the letter was placed in her hands, to 
convince her of the infideUty of ' Edgardo,' was finely conceived ; 
and the effect was heightened by a new point. Snatching the 
letter from her brother's hands, she gazed at it once more, as if 
to ascertain that the first impression had been only a delusion. 

" The madness in the last Act, was wonderfully interpreted. 
The eye, glaring and vacant, appeared absorbed by fantasies, 
and Wind to all external objects. The passions by w^hich she is 
supposed to be influenced, while in this painful situation, are of 
the most varied kind ; but she never for a moment lost sight of 
the insanity. However eloquent the song, the countenance was 
never fully lighted up by its meaning. The discordance between 
the internal and the external world was terribly preserved. To 
give the scene its full importance, Mdlle. Lind has restored much 
of the music which is now generally omitted ; and, at the conclu- 
sion, instead of running off the stage in the usual fashion, she fell 
senseless, which brought the situation to a more pointed conclu- 
sion. Altogether, this mad scene is a rare exhibition of genius, 
the fine fresh voice of the singer giving a substance to the crea- 
tion of her mind. The character of ' Lucia' will unquestionably 
be ranked among Mdlle. Lind's most brilliant successes. The 
audience were kept in a state of the greatest excitement ; and 
plaudits, repeated calls, and bouquets, marked their unbounded 
delight." * 

The success of Lucia di Lammermoor was so great, that it was 
given four times in succession, and seven times more before the 
close of the season. 

The next new Opera was Donizetti's charming Opera buffa, 
UElisir d'Amore — a work incomparably superior to La Figlia 
del Reggimento, both in its music and its lidretto, though happily 
wanting in the ad captandum element which most excites the 
great mass of the public, and therefore less calculated to excite 
a general furore. It proved, however, a genuine success, and 
afforded excellent opportunities for the display of the frima 

* From the Time%, May 26, 1848. 


clomui's genius, in its lighter mood, as well as for that of Signor 
Lablache, whose " Dottore Dulcamara " was one of his most 
genial buffo parts ; and his never-failing humour was turned to 
such excellent account, on this occasion, as to produce the most 
piquant effects in the scenes in which he and Mdlle. Lind were 

The next new role was of a very different character. Until 
this year Mdlle. Lind had never sung in / Puritam. She had 
seen it performed, on her first visit to Her Majesty's Theatre, in 
1847, and had whispered to Mrs. Grote, "I think I can do as 
well as that, and perhaps a little better." The time had now 
come when the faith she then expressed in her own powers was 
to be put to the test — and we think we may venture to say that 
it stood it fairly well. 

The role abounds in opportunities for the display of many high 
and varied qualities which few dramatic artists possess in com- 
bination. Id is not enough that its exponent should be merely 
a brilliant executant, or an impassioned actress, or possess a voice 
of large compass, of unfailing sustaining power, of luscious sweet- 
ness, or of unlimited flexibility. She must possess all these quali- 
fications, and very many more, in their highest perfection, and 
fullest measure of development. These conditions were not hard 
for Mdlle. Lind ; and she complied with them all. But there was 
another one, very much harder, in the background — one external 
to herself, and for which she was in no wise responsible. Not 
many years previously, / Puritani had been placed upon the stage 
at Her Majesty's Theatre, with a gorgeous wealth of talent, still 
vividly remembered. So great was the sensation it created, that, 
for years afterwards, the " Puritani season " was spoken of as the 
most brilliant on record. The charm of its enchantment was 
still fresh in the memory of every frequenter of the Opera- 
House ; and against the influence of its attraction, Mdlle. Lind, 
with Signor Lablache alone to support her in the first rank, had 
now to contend. A battle, fierce as that which she had fought, in 
Berlin, against the memory of Madame Schroeder-Devrient, and 
Annette Schechner, in Euryanthe, and Die VestaUn, had now to 
be fought over again — ^and she fought, and won it. Her render- 
ing of Qui la voce held all who heard it spellbound ; and the 
cadenza she composed for its opening movement was one of the 
finest and most original of the wonderful passages of floritura 

328 JENNY LIND. [bk. viir. ch. in. 

with which it u'as her custom to ornament the Itahan arie that 
pleased her best. Again, in the famous Polacca — Son vergin 
vczzosa — the Ughtness of her execution was Httle short of mira- 
culous. And yet, in other scenes, she sang with an impassioned 
fervour which brought into play the richest tones of the fullest 
soprano clrammatko. 

. The following critique, from the leading journal of the period, 
is written with so commendable an earnestness, and in so just a 
spirit, that we think no apology necessary for giving an extract 
from it : — 

" To those who have seen Mdlle. Jenny Lind in the characters 
of 'Amina,' * Lucia,' and 'Alice,' it must be evident that she 
gives to any part she undertakes a distinctive mark, by which it 
becomes her own : that, however often a character may have 
been represented by other artists of eminence, she always does 
something with it which has not been done before. 

" Her ' Elvira ' ml Puritani, which was performed on Saturday, 
was another triumph in this respect. It was not like any other 
' Elvira ' which had been seen on the stage= 

"The vocal triumph was as great as the histrionic. The 
sparkling iiolacca^ executed to perfection, and with a playfulness 
which was completely illustrative of the character, electrified the 
audience, and was encored with an enthusiasm which is rarely 
heard in any theatre. In the mad scenes, an expression of wild- 
ness was apparent, even in the crying, and added to the stronger 
mournfulness of the situation. At the conclusion of the Opera, 
she was called repeatedly, and bouquets were thrown in showers." * 

The success of / Puritani was triumphant. Though the season 
was now far advanced, it was given five times. But it did not 
displace the old favourites. Concerning these, however, there 
remains no more to be said. 

The performances extended to a much later period than usual ; 
and many ardent lovers of music remained in town beyond their 
customary time, in order that they might not lose an opportunity 
which there was too much reason to fear might never occur again. 

Her Majesty and Prince Albert continued, to the end of the 
season, and through a hot July, which made hours spent in a 
crowded theatre a severe penance, to show their admiration of 
MdUe. Lind by their attendance at the Opera. They appear to 

♦ From the Times, July 31, 1848. 


have heard her in La Somiamlula and the Figlia del Beggimento 
with ever-increasing dehght — charmed with her acting, and more 
and more impressed by her amazing flexibility of voice, and the 
unusual power of the singer in executing the most brilliant fiori- 
ture in an exquisitely modidated piano. 

Mr. Lumley had cause for genuine satisfaction before the 
performances came to an end. His profits, this year, were far 
greater than they had been in 1847. It is true that the results 
of " The Bunn Trial " had been more calamitous, by far, than 
those best able to form an opinion on the subject had predicted, 
or supposed even possible. Still, he well knew how to make the 
best of his improved position ; and has himself left it on record, 
that "the season of 1848 proved, in a financial point of view, 
far more remunerative than the preceding one, in which so much 
had been absorbed by the extra expenses entailed by Jenny's 
vacillation." * 

♦ '* Reminiscences of the Opera," p. 226. 

330 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. iv. 



Clairville Cottage, though Mdlle. Lind had chosen it solely 
for the sake of its retirement from the world, was none the less 
frequented by a goodly company of trusted and congenial friends, 
who delighted to sit at rest in the shade of its noble plane-tree, 
and inhale the sweet perfume of its beloved magnolias, and 
whose presence, renewed from time to time, effectually prevented 
its solitude from becoming irksome. We have seen that Herr 
Berg and his family made a lengthened stay there. Mrs. Grote 
was a constant visitor. So also was Thalberg, of whose talent 
Mdlle. Lind always spoke with warmest admiration, and whose 
manner of interpreting Schubert's songs on the pianoforte 
initiated her into the true Viennese spirit which is indispensable 
to their traditional effect. And no less welcome were Mr. and 
Mrs. Samuel Carter Hall, who occupied a house in the immediate 
vicinity of the pretty cottage, and were on terms of friendliest 
intercourse with its mistress. 

Within a few minutes' walk of this peaceful habitation rose a 
pile of buildings which the friends regarded with peculiar interest 
— the first beginnings of the then but half -completed " Brompton 
Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest." 

In an autobiographical work,* which has attained great popu- 
larity, Mr. S. C. Hall makes mention of a concert given by 
Mdlle. Lind, at Her Majesty's Theatre, for this excellent institu- 
tion. His account is so circumstantial, that it seems difficult, at 
first sight, to doubt the accuracy of any part of it. It is, how- 
ever, inaccurate in certain particulars, as we shall presently show, 
though the main facts are stated correctly enough. 

* ' A Retrospect of a Long Life,' by Samuel Carter Hall. (London, 1883.) 


Mdlle. Lind had visited the Hospital during the height of the 
Opera season, and had taken a vivid interest in it. It was 
indeed well worthy of her attention. It owed its foundation, in 
the first instance, to the benevolent energy of Mr. (afterwards 
Sir Philip) Rose, who, in the year 1841, formed a nucleus for 
it in a building known as the Manor House, overlooking the 
grounds of Chelsea Hospital, and now used as an auxiliary to the 
general work of the Institution. The present buildings were 
begun in 1844, and were still far from complete in 1848, when 
Mdlle. Lind, having heard that accommodation for an increased 
number of patients was urgently needed, determined to use every 
possible exertion for the addition of a new wing. 

Some interesting particulars concerning her proposal are given 
in the journals of the period, from which we select one, the 
authority of which cannot be doubted : — 

"The concert that will be given this day at Her Majesty's 
Theatre for the benefit of the Hospital for Consumption at 
Brompton, is a striking instance of the benevolence and 
generosity of Mdlle. Lind. Not only does she give her own 
services, but she has made arrangements with Mr. Lumley, 
providing the society gratuitously with everything required ; so 
that no expense will be incurred, while it is expected that the 
funds will be materially increased. 

" The benefit that is to be done to the charity by this concert, 
is of a special kind — namely, the erection'' of an eastern wing to 
the hospital, in which an increase of room for the admission of 
patients is most desirable. 

" The ' Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest ' 
has pecuhar claims to public support. The incurable nature of 
the consumptive patient's complaint, and the fact that he must 
long occupy a bed which might be more profitably devoted to 
sufferers from other maladies, shut him out from all hospitals 
whatever, before the establishment of this one. The confirmed 
consumptive patient literally had no home, before the foundation, 
in 1841, of a hospital devoted exclusively to sufferers of this 
class. In aiding this establishment, therefore, the benevolent 
are contributing towards a purpose that cannot be accomplished 
by any other charity whatever. They are not merely providing 
medical assistance in the case of a particular disease, but they are 
providing a permanent domicile to a whole class of houseless 

" The report of the charity spoke favourably of its progress ; 

332 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. iv. 

but showed that much more remained to be done. In 1847, 
there were ah-eady sixty beds for patients, which were constantly 
occupied ; and it was expected that forty more, which the portion 
of the building then completed was capable of accommodating, 
would soon be made available. It is statistically shown that, in 
this metropolis, 11,000 persons are constantly wasting away, from 
the attacks of pulmonary disease ; and that a large portion of 
these are working men, totally without the means of providing 
for themselves, and excluded, as we have already said, from the 
general hospitals. 

" It is hoped that the concert will be one of those instances of 
the amusement of the rich contributing to the relief of the poor, 
that have lately been happily frequent, in the metropohs. The 
conduct of Mdlle. Lind, who, according to the prospectus of the 
concert, ' generously expressed her desire ' to augment the funds 
of this excellent charity, is worthy of all praise." * 

In one point only, the contributor of this interesting article to 
the Times fails to do full justice to a gentleman who behaved, 
on this occasion, with great and liberal forbearance. It will be 
remembered that, by her contract with Mr. Lumley, Mdlle. Lind 
was forbidden to sing at any public concert. She could not, 
therefore, have made her contemplated gift to the Brompton 
Hospital without Mr. Lumley's permission ; and he not only 
gave this, but added to it the loan of the " Great Concert Room 
at Her Majesty's Theatre," for the morning indicated in the 

The concert was duly announced to take place on Monday, the 
31st of July, 1848. The price of tickets for the reserved seats 
was fixed at two guineas each, that for unreserved places, at one 
guinea. Nine hundred tickets — mostly reserved — were sold at 
these high prices, and, the room, (notwithstanding its imposing 
title,) being a comparatively small one, many gentlemen were 
compelled to stand throughout the entire performance. Mdlle. 
Lind herself was strongly opposed, on principle, to "raised 
prices," against which we have already seen her protesting at 
Vienna ; but, on this occasion, when funds were so urgently 
needed for a sacred purpose, she suffered herself to be overruled 
by the arguments of Mr. S. C. Hall. 

* From the Times, July 31, 1848. 


She was assisted in the business portion of her work, by the 
Honorary Secretary — Mr. Philip Rose — and other officers of the 
charity ; and, at the concert, by Mdlle. CruvelH, Signori Lablache, 
Belletti, and Coletti, MM. Remusat and King (Flautists), and 
Mr. Cooper (Violinist). Mr. Otto Goldschmidt also played, at 
her request, two solos on the pianoforte.* 

A few days after the performance, Mdlle. Lind paid a visit to 
the Hospital, giving each of the wards a careful inspection. We 
can imagine the satisfaction of the generous donor, when, in 
passing through the wards, between the rows of beds in which so 
many poor pale sufferers lay stretched on either side, she thought 
of the augmented number now rendered possible through her 
exertions. The success of her scheme extended far beyond the 
sum it actually placed at the disposal of the committee, for it 
gave a notable impulse to the collection of funds for the work in 
hand. The Eastern Wing was no longer thought of as a remote 
possibility. The committee were justified, now, in making the 
necessary arrangements for its rapid completion ; and when it was 
opened, and made ready for the reception of patients, in 1855, its 
first floor, containing ten wards for the accommodation of female 
sufferers, was called " The Jenny Lind Gallery," as the corre- 
sponding portion of the Western Wing had been previously named 
" The Victoria Gallery " in token of gratitude to Her Majesty, 
the Patroness of the charity ; and, at the same time, one of the 
ten new wards within the " Jenny Lind Gallery " was named 
after Mrs. S. 0. Hall. 

In spite of her rooted antipathy to the presentation of 
testimonials, in recognition of her works of charity, Mdlle. Lind 
had not the heart to refuse that which was offered to her in the 
name of the recipients of her bounty at Brompton, in the form 
of a beautiful silver salver, twenty inches broad, bearing in its 

* Mr. S. C. Hall, writing thirty-five years after the event, and having 
evidently forgotten its details, gives a very inaccurate account of the cir- 
ciunstances, which we have here described on the highest possible authority. 
Mr. Goldschmidt had been introduced to Mdlle. Lind, and she very much 
wished to give him the opportunity of appearing at her concert. But, she 
had not lieard him play ; and did not think it wise to render herself 
responsible for the clebv't of a young artist, until she had made herself 
acquainted with the style of his performance. She therefore invited him to 
play to her at Clairvdle ; and it was after having heard him there, that she 
requested his assistance at the concert. 

33-1 JENNY LIND. [bk. tiii. ch. iv. 

centre an engraving of the unfinished building, with the following 
delicately-worded inscription : — 


















On the seventh anniversary of the opening of the Hospital, 
celebrated in 1849, the late Lord Beaconsfield — then, the Eight 
Hon. B. Disraeli — paid perhaps the aptest and most beautiful 
tribute on record to the generous action of Mdlle. Lind in re- 
lation to the charity, in a speech delivered in presence of the 
Governor, and a crowded audience. 

" The generosity of Mdlle. liind to the Hospital," said the 
great Statesman, " can only be characterised as marvellous. It 
comes upon us, as it were, in a heavenly burst of music that 
charms every sense, and touches every heart — a sweet carol of 
charity that fills the popular ear with bewilderment, sympathy, 
and rapture. 

" I look upon the conduct of this lady as one of the most 
remarkable features of the age we live in. I know nothing in 
classic story, or in those feudal epochs when we are taught that 

* This beautiful salver is now iulierited by Madame Goldschmidt's second 



the individual was more influential, when character was more 
forcible — I know nothing to be compared with the career of this 
admirable woman. Why, gentlemen, it almost reaches the high 
ideal of human nature when we portray to ourselves a youthful 
maiden, innocent and benignant, in the possession of an un- 
paralleled and omnipotent charm, alternately entrancing the 
heart of nations, and then kneeling at the tomb of suffering, of 
calamity, and of care. 

"And, gentlemen, I, for one, honour Jenny Lind above all 
things, because she has shown that she comprehends her position, 
and that a great artist, sustained by virtue, upheld by self-respect, 
and full of the magnificence of her mission, ranks in the highest 
class of human beings and human benefactors." 

And thus, in the midst of her second London season, was in- 
augurated the first of that long line of noble works which have 
surrounded the name of Jenny Lind with a halo more bright than 
even that enkindled by the fire of her genius. 

33G JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. v. 



The London season was now at the zenith of its brilliancy, but 
its successes did not make Mdlle. Lind forget her friends in 
Germany. In the midst of the general excitement, she wrote to 
Frau von Kaulbach : — 

« London, July 10, 1848. 

" It was very hard indeed for me to take upon myself, for this 
year also, the frightful responsibility of supporting the Opera, 
here. But it was my duty to do so ; for it rested with me, 
whether Lumley should be ruined, and the whole theatre fall to 
the ground, or not ; and the public rewards me in so many ways, 
and shows me so much attention, that I have nothing to regret. 

" I go, this year also, to the (English) provinces ; but then I 
shall have done, and shall leave the grande carriere behind me, 
and shall only work in Sweden for my pleasure — that is, for 
my School. 

" There you have pretty nearly all that I shall undertake. If 
anything very important should happen, I Avill be sure to tell 
you ; but, till then, believe nothing — and, before all things, do 
not believe that I have a bad heart. I hope I have grown better ; 
for, since I saw you, I have passed through many things, and 
have not been without temptations. What reason have I to be 
vain now that I had not before ? " 

As the season drew near its close, she wrote to her guardian, 
Judge Munthe, a noteworthy letter, in which she gave the first 
hint in writing of a project no less weighty in its bearing upou 
Art than her scheme for the completion of the Brompton Hos- 
pital was in its relation to Charity : — 

" Clairville Cottage, Old Brompton, Aug. 14, 1848. 
" I am going to sing a few times more this year, and therefore 
I shall not have done with London before the 24th inst. 

" We go to the provinces on the 4th of September, and begin 

1848.] "ELIJAH." 337 

by a concert in Birmingham on the 5th. On my return to 
London I intend to give, in conjunction with many others, a 
grand concert for the foundation of a School of Music in memory 
of Mendelssohn, the object of which will be to receive pupils of 
all nations and promote their musical training ; and we have 
chosen his last work, Elijah, to illustrate it. If this enterprise 
proves successful I shall be very glad and happy. If I do not 
come home this autumn, I intend to work in Germany, for this 
purpose, part of next winter." 

Truly, there were schemes enough in contemplation, and but 
little unoccupied time at command for the elaboration of their 

Her Majesty's Theatre closed, for the season of 1848, on the 
2Gth of August, with a concert for the benefit of the Chorus ; 
and a few days afterwards, Mdlle. Lind started in company with 
Mons. Roger, the great French tenor, Signor Belletti, Signer 
Frederic Lablache, and some other artists of less celebrity, on a 
provincial tour of a more decidedly dramatic character than that 
which she had undertaken in 1847. 

She left London on the 4th of September, on which day she 
wrote to her friend, Madame Wichmann : — 

" Clairville, September 4, 1848. 

" I was not a little astonished, when I received your last letter 
from Interlaken. I was as happy as a Queen, to know that you 
are now leaving Berlin. My heart bounds with joy, when I 
think of meeting you in Italy, or elsewhere. Perhaps our long- 
cherished idea may be realised, after all. 

" I have many plans in my head,' c^ad, in case rest should again 
be denied me, I may still have to go on working for a longer 

" To-day, I begin by going to the English provinces, for two, 
or perhaps three months. After that begins a matter about 
which I will tell you. 

*'I wish, in conjunction with one of Mendelssohn's most 
intimate friends, to contribute something towards a Music School 
in his memory ; and, for this purpose, I propose, in the month of 
November, to give a grand concert in London. But I hope, in 
any case, to have finished all by the new year at the latest." 

The tour began with a concert at Birmingham, on the 5th 
of September, followed by one at Liverpool, on the 7th, and 

338 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. v. 

performances of Lucia and La Sonnarnhda, at Manchester, on the 
Oth and 11th. Mdlle. Lind also sang in La Sonnamiida, Lucia _ 
di Lammermoor, L Puritani, and La Figlia del Reggimento^ at 
Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, and 
Brighton ; and gave concerts, with scarcely less success, in almost 
every place of any great importance in England. 

The entry in Mdlle. Lind's engagement-book of the perform- 
ance of La Figlia del Reggimento at Brighton, on the 3rd of 
November, is followed by eight notes of exclamation — " Brighton. 
Eegimentets Dotter !!!!!!!! " — and a thick black line is 
drawn across the page, beneath the entry, evidently intimating 
that she intended this to be her last appearance on the Stage — as 
it really would have been, but for the six supplementary perform- 
ances to be hereafter noticed. 

The meaning of this entry in the Annotations-Bole is corro- 
borated, in a very remarkable manner, by a passage in the diary 
of Mons. Roger, the great French Artist who sang with Mdlle. 
Lind throughout her last dramatic tour. The entry runs thus : — 

" Friday, Nov. 3. La Figlia del Reggimento. — A greater crowd, 
and greater heat, than at La Sonnamlula. In the last Act, 
during the ritournelJe of the Rondo Finale, Lind said to me under 
her bl-eath, ' Mark this well, Roger, these are the last notes that 
you will hear me sing on the Stage.' — I stood stupefied. 

" Is it true ? Is her career finished ? At the apogee of her 
success does she renounce the Stage ! There is no time for me to 
ask her for an explanation — she sings — the public, enchanted, 
applauds — it knows not that it is losing her ; — and then, it is my 
turn to slug, and I must put on a happy air, since I am to 
espouse her — but, in truth, my heart was distressed." * 

On the 4th of December, Mdlle. Lind gave a concert, at Leeds, 
for the Orchestra which accompanied her, reaUsing £640 for 
division among its members. Mrs. Grote has left us, in her 
Note-book, a graphic account of the events that took place at 
this period. 

" Her progress in the provinces," she says, " was extraordinary ; 
for the intense interest and admiration she excited in the various 
cities she visited, and the passionate eagerness to get even a 

* Le Garnet d'un Tenor. G. Roger. (Paris, 1880. 

1848.] "ELIJAH." 339 

glimpse of her, as eviuced by the middle and lower classes, were 
truly marvellous. 

" Early in December I was with her at Oxford, where she gave 
a morning concert in the ' Theatre ' or Senate House. Eighteen 
hundred persons were present, and the enthusiasm of the students 
w^as most diverting. 

" Next we posted across to Rugby, in order to proceed to Leeds, 
where Jenny gave a concert for the profit of her own little 
orchestra, and £640 was realised, each man getting about £36, — 
a pretty ' wind-up ' to a most agreeable and lucrative three 
months' tour me. 

" After the concert, and about midnight, Jenny gave a Soiree 
to the band, and we kept it up till 3 a.m., with dancing and a 
famous good supper, after which Jenny made a speech, proposing 
Balfe's health ; and, after that, another to her band, drinking all 
their ' healths,' and bidding thein farewell and prosperity. 

" Her address was given with feeling and taste, and the effect 
it had upon her guests was evidently profound. I was very near 
crying during the response, which was her health, with harmonious 
chords and vivas from all lips. Balfe made her a speech, thank- 
ing her in the name of the troupe^ and paid her some lofty, but 
heartfelt compliments, in neat and appropriate phraseology. The 
evening was very deUghtful altogether, and we all parted with 
regret, returning to London on the morrow with Mr. Lumley." 

This generous and graceful act accomplished, Mdlle. Lind 
returned for ten days, to London, for the purpose of carrying out 
the great enterprise which, during the last few months, had occu- 
pied so much of her attention, and which she now felt sure of 
bringing to a successful issue. 

The noble idea of commemorating Mendelssohn's genius, by the 
foundation of a Mui'ic-School in his name, presented itself to 
some of his most intunate friends, not very many months after 
his early death. 

The exact details of its origin have not transpired ; but we 
have seen that Mdlle. Lind first mentioned it in writing, in a 
letter addressed to Judge Munthe, on the 14th of August, 1848 ; 
and again, in another written to Madame Wichmann, on the 
4th of September — i.e., exactly ten months after Mendelssohn's 
death. And now, at last, after four months of careful deliberation, 
the time had arrived for putting the great design into execution. 

The idea was a noble one indeed, well worthy of being carried 
out to its fullest extent, had this proved to have been possible. 

z 2 

340 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. v> 

And what more worthy means could have been devised for raising- 
the funds needed for putting it into execution, than the scheme 
proposed by Mdlle. Lind — the presentation to the public of his 
last and greatest Oratorio, in the most perfect form that the 
united talent of the most accomplished singers and instrumentalists 
in England could achieve ? 

This was the bold idea, in furtherance of which, she invited her 
artist friends to assist her in a grand performance of Elijah, at 
Exeter Hall, on Friday, the 15th of December. 

And, in selecting this as the most fitting work for her 
memorial purpose, she did so, not only because she believed it to 
be the greatest work her friend had produced, but because she 
knew that he would himself have chosen it as the one best fitted 
for the display of her own peculiar powers, since he had composed 
the soprano part expressly for her, although she had been 
prevented, by unforeseen circumstances, from singing it in public 
during his life-time. 

The result of her labours may be gathered from the following 
critique which appeared in The Times, on the day after the 
celebration : — 

" The grand performance of the Oratorio of Elijah, in aid of 
the ' Mendelssohn Foundation for Free Scholarships in the 
Leipzig Musical Conservatory,' took place last night. 

"Exeter Hall was filled, in every part, by one of the most 
brilliant and fashionable audiences ever assembled in a public 
edifice. His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, with the 
Duchess and Princess of Cambridge, the Prince and Princesses of 
Hohenlohe, the Hanoverian Minister, Count Kielmansegge, and 
suite, occupied the northern gallery, near the orchestra. The Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of London and Xorwich, the 
Prussian Ambassador, etc., were in the reserved seats in the area. 

"We have already stated that Mdlle. Lind had liberally 
accorded her gratuitous services for this occasion ; and we are 
now enabled to add that she doubled the value of her assistance, 
and the obligation of those interested in the Mendelssohn 
Foundation, by attending every one of the rehearsals, private and 
public, arriving at the beginning, and remaining until the end, in 
order to ensure, as far as she was concerned, a perfect execution 
of Mendelssohn's immortal work, which she has studied expressly 
for the occasion. 

" The performance last night was complete and splendid ; well 
worthy of the cause for which it was instituted, and a considerable 

1818.] "ELIJAH." 341 

sum will be devoted, by its means, to the advancement of the 
Mendelssohn Foundation at Leipzig." 

It would be beside our purpose to trace the history of the 
" Mendelssohn Scholarships " from this splendid beginning to the 
final success of the movement. But it is satisfactory to know 
that Mdlle. Lind's intentions with regard to them have long been 
carried out, both in the spirit and the letter, and will continue to 
be so carried out in perpetuity, though only to a certain limited 
extent, since many modifications of the original plan were found 
necessary, before the Foundation was permanently established. 
"We cannot, however, doubt that Mdlle. Lind's name will be remem- 
bered, in connection with the Memorial she raised to her departed 
friend, for many a century to come — for the Foundation is 
legally secm-ed, and remains in perpetuity. 

342 JENNY LIND. [be. viii. ch. vi. 



The tribute to the memory of Mendelssohn, with its careful 
preparation, its busy work, and its triumphant result, might well 
have exhausted the powers, both mental and physical, of an artist 
of no ordinary strength ; but Mdlle. Lind had no time for rest. 
Four days later she was due at Manchester ; and, within little 
more than six weeks, she had engaged to give five more concerts, 
entirely for charitable purposes, besides a benefit for Mr. Balfe. 

The campaign began with two concerts, given on the 19th 
and 21st of December, for the "Manchester Royal Infirmary 
and Dispensary," which, like the " Brompton Hospital for Con- 
sumption," sorely needed additional accommodation. These two 
concerts produced a sum exceeding £2,500, which was made to 
serve as the nucleus of a fund for the erection of an additional 
" North Wing." 

The next performance took place on the 28th of December, 
for the benefit of the " Queen's College Hospital " at Birmingham, 
for which it produced £1,100, and in acknowledgment of which, 
the Governors of the Institution presented her^ with a work-box, 
ornamented with the following inscription : — 



as a small testimony of their sense of obligation 

for her very noble and gratuitous services 

at a concert 

held in the town hall 

on behalf of the funds of the 

queen's hospital 

DECEMBER 28TH, 1848. 

1848-9.] FOR CHARITY. 343 

And now came a few days of well-earned recreation — a Christ- 
mas and New Year's gathering at Orumpsall, near Manchester, 
the country-house of Mr. and Mrs. Sails Schwabe, for which 
Mdlle. Lind had accepted the invitation, more than a month in 

All too soon, however, the pleasant little holiday came to an 
end. It had been the delight of all who were fortunate enough 
to be present at it ; and, though she to whose labours it had 
given so cheerful a respite at that busy time is now no more, it is 
still remembered by many as a bright spot in the past. 

The next appointment was for a concert, to be given on the 
6th of January, 1849, for the benefit of the " Southern Hospital " 
at Liverpool, for which, with the never-failing success which was 
now looked for as a matter of course, the sum of £1,400 was 
raised, in a single evening. 

And now it was time to prepare for a second visit to Norwich, 
in which, to this day, the memory of Mdlle. Lind is regarded with 
greater veneration than in any other Cathedral-town in England. 

Two concerts, arranged to take place on the 22nd and 23rd of 
January, for the benefit of the poor of Norwich, realised the net 
sum of £1,253. 

No specific plan was decided upon, at the moment, for the 
application of this sum of money, w^hich was placed, provisionally, 
in the hands of trustees, in order that the matter might receive 
due consideration, before any irrevocable step was taken with 
regard to its ultimate disposal. It was proposed, at one time, to 
devote the proceeds of the concerts to the building of baths and 
wash-houses for the poor. This plan, however, was not put into 
execution ; and the question remained open for four years, during 
which period the money was placed out at interest. A final 
decision was, however, arrived at, in 1853, when Madame 
Goldschmidt, in consultation with the Stanley family and other 
friends, resolved to devote the fund to the foundation of a 
hospital for the sick children of the poor. Under the name of 
" The Jenny Lind Infirmary for Sick Children," this institution 
still exists, in a very flourishing condition. The original nucleus 
was by no means the last donation that the foundress contributed 
to its endowment. She continued to take deep interest in it, 
until the day of her death ; and so largely has its sphere of use- 
fulness increased, that, in the year 1890, it relieved no less than 

344 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. yi. 

1230 " out-patients," in addition to the 257 little sufferers who 
were admitted as " in-patients " into its wards.* 

The next concert at which Mdlle. Lind sang, after taking leave 
of her friends at Norwich, was one given in London, on the 29th 
of January, for the benefit of Mr. Balfe, whose warm artistic 
devotion as conductor at the Opera she spoke of, to the end of 
her life, with grateful recognition. 

This was followed, four days later, by a performance of great 
importance in aid of the " Royal Infirmary," at Worcester. 

The Bishop of Worcester had written to Mdlle. Lind, in 
November, 1847, requesting her to sing at the Worcester Festival 
— the triennial performance in connection with the "Three 
Choirs " — in August, 1848 ; and she had consented to do so, if 
she found it possible to make the necessary arrangements. But, 
when the time for the fulfilment of her conditional promise drew 
near, Mr. Lumley, whose engagement with her did not expire 
until the end of the year, not only refused his consent, but 
announced her for a concert at Birmingham, on the very day on 
which the Worcester Festival began. In order to atone, as far 
as she could, for this disappointment — a very grievous one indeed 
for the A^^orcester Committee — she sent the sum of £50, from her 
own private purse, for the charity in aid of which the Festival 
was given — the " Society for the Relief of the Widows and 
Orphans of the Clergy " ; and, as soon as she had completed her 
engagement with the theatrical manager, offered to give a concert 
for any other charity in the diocese that might stand in need of 
her help. While gratefully accepting the generous offer, the 
Committee decided in favour of the " Worcester Royal Infirmary," 
as the recipient of its benefits ; and, on the 2nd of February, 
1849, Mdlle. Lind gave a concert, in the College Hall, at which 
the sum of £840 was raised for this purpose, and devoted to the 
erection of a chapel for the Institntion. The Committee was 
very anxious to record its appreciation of the gift by offering to 
the donor a present of Worcester china ; but this she firmly but 
courteously declined to accept ; for, as we have already seen, she 
had always been most unwilling to receive any sort of acknowledg- 
ment in return for her charitable performances. 

* We are indebted, for the verification of these details, to the courtesy of 
Mr. J. J. Winter, who has acted, for many years, as Hon. Chairman of the 
Committee of Manaorement. 

1848-9.] FOB CHARITY. 345 

And thus, between the 4th of December, 1848, and the 2nd of 
February, 1849 — a period of less than nine weeks — Mdlle. Liud 
had, at nine concerts, (not including that for the benefit of Mr. 
Balfe,) succeeded in raising the noble sum of £8,740, in aid of 
five hospitals, one artistic memorial, and the orchestra which 
accompanied her on her tour ; and, if we add to this the receipts 
of the concert given for the Brompton Hospital, in the previous 
July, the sum amounts to £10,500. 

£ 5. d. 

For the Bromptou Hospital (July 31, 1848) . . 1,766 15 

For the Orchestra (Dec. 4, 1848) . . . . 640 

For the Mendelssohn Scholarships (Dec. 15, 1848) . I,0u0 

For the Manchester Hospital (Dec. 19 and 21, 1848) , 2,500 
For the Queen's College Hospital, at Birmingham 

(Dec. 28, 1848) 1,100 

For the Southern (Toxteth) Hospital, at Liverpool 

(Jan. 6, 1849) 1,400 

For the Norwich Charities* (Jan. 22 and 23, 1849) . 1,253 

For the Worcester Infirmary (Feb. 2, 1849) . . 840 

Total . . . 10,499 15 

On the 3rd of April, 1849, a performance of The Creation was 
announced, at Exeter Hall, for the aid of five important charities, 
four of which were intimately connected with Art : 

" A grand performance of sacred music was given last night," 
says the critic of The Times, " consisting of Handel's Coronation 
Anthem, Za.dolc the Priest, and Haydn's Creation. 

" The principal attraction, which drew together one of the 
most crowded audiences that ever congregated within the precincts 
of Exeter Hall, was Mdlle. Jenny Lind, who sang the soprano 
part in The Creation. 

" The main object of the performance was a charitable one. 
Mdlle. Jenny Lind accorded her services gratuitously ; and, after 
the band, chorus, and principal singers are paid, the surplus will 
be divided between the ' Royal Society of Musicians,' the ' Society 
of Female Musicians,' the ' Choral Fund,' the ' Royal Academy of 
Music,' and the ' Governesses' Benevolent Institution.' The 
receipts averaged, we understand, between £1,400 and £1,500, 
which will guarantee at least £850 for the benefit of those 

" The performance was honoured by the presence of Her 
Majesty and Prince Albert, who attended with a numerous suite. 

* Applied, in 1853, to " The Jenny Lind Infirmary for Sick Children." 

346 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. vi. 

In the stalls, among other illustrious persons, was observed the 
Duke of Wellington. 

" In the Oratorio of The Creation, the most arduous as well as 
the most interesting portion of the music falls to the lot of the 
soprano ; Mdlle. Jenny Lind, however, is never at a loss, where 
true sentiment and musical cleverness are demanded. Her first 
effort was the Air, with Chorus, The marvellous worJc, which she 
gave with a dignity of style suited to the subject. In With 
verdure clad, and the Recitative that precedes it, w^e had already 
heard her at Balfo's concert, and our favourable opinion was 
recorded at the time. She sang it perhaps still better last night ; 
there was more fervour, with equal correctness. But the Solo 
which most taxes the powers of the vocahst, and from which most 
was expected by the public, was the opening Recitative and Air 
of the Second Part, On mighty ^^^ns the eagle wings. On this Air, 
which is more dramatic than sacred in character, Mdlle. Lind 
lavished all the treasures of her art ; and her entire rendering of 
the melody was as original as it was striking. In the line — 

" ' And, cooing, calls the tender dove his mate,' 

she produced quite a novel effect, by sustaining the note that 
occurs on the first syllable of the word ' cooing,' for a leng-thened 

" One of the most general topics of conversation a,nd marked 
approval was the exceeding clearness with which Mdlle. Lind 
pronounced the words of all her Songs, Duets, and Trios. In 
this particular, she evinced a facility, not merely noticeable on 
account of her being a foreigner, but worthy of attention as an 
example even for many singers to whom the English language is 
native and familiar." * 

From a paragraph which appeared in The Times on the 17th of 
April, we find that the profits of the concert fell rather short of 
the anticipated amount. 

"But," says the editor, quoting from The Standard of the 
previous day, " to her great honour and benevolent disposition be 
it recorded, she has signified her intention to make up the net 
profit of £700 odd to £800 ; so that the four charities will each 
receive £200."t 

We refrain from adding anything to this critique, which 

* From The Times, April 4, 1849. 

t Tt will be noticed that The Standard makes no mention of the 
' Governesses' Benevolent Institution.' 

1849.] FOE CHAKITY. 347 

expresses all that need be said on the subject. Xor does it fall 
within the limits of our design to dilate upon the later triumphs 
achieved by Mdlle. Lind in the new path she had chosen for the 
development of her powers. She gave only one more Oratorio 
performance in England, before her departure for America — that 
of Handel's llessiah, at Liverpool, on the 19th of August, 1850 ; 
but she had not yet taken leave of her audience at Her Majesty's 
Theatre, and thither we must now follow her, to be present at 
the performance which closed the splendours of her Oppratic 

348 JENNY LIND. [bk. vni. ch. vii. 



When Mr. Lumley began to make his arrangements for the 
season of 1849, he was much exercised by uncertainty as to Mdlle. 
Lind's intentions for the future. No engagement had been made, 
at the close of the previous season : and in the meantime, rumours 
were rife as to her retirement from the Stage, which was said to 
be imminent. 

It must be confessed that Mr. Lumley was in a dijfficult 
position. Unfortunately, his faith in Mdlle. Lind's reliance upon 
the judgment of Mrs. Grote had led him to expect a great deal 
more from that lady's influence upon the retiring Artist than was 
warranted by the true circumstances of the case. Mrs. Grote 
herself knew perfectly well how absolutely impregnable was the 
decision at which Mdlle. Lind had arrived. But it is evident 
that she did not succeed in making the unhappy manager under- 
stand, so clearly as he ought to have done, how matters then 
stood. He believed that there was still room for hope ; and, 
harassed by anxiety, tormented by doubts of his own creation 
with regard to the unknown future, he followed the example of 
the public, and formed, on what he conceived to be " undoubted 
authority," strange theories of his own, destitute of any sort of 
foundation in fact. 

The Opera-House opened for the season, in 1849, amidst as 
rough a " sea of doubts and perplexities," as that which had pre- 
vailed in 1847. The public would not be satisfied without the 
re-engagement of Mdlle. Lind ; and, before long, it was authori- 
tatively announced — and, this time, with perfect truth — that 
Mdlle. Lind had positively determined to appear no more upon 
the Stage. A hundred different reasons, all equally false, and 
equally unauthorised, were given for this determination — but, 

1840.] THE LAST OPERA. 340 

whatever the true reason might have been, the fact remained, 
that never again could the public hope to see its favourite upon 
the boards of Her Majesty's Theatre. 

Mr. Lumley was in despair. In face of the attractions offered 
at the rival establishment, this determination meant, for him, 
nothing short of irremediable disaster — of absolute ruin — unless 
he could stave off the evil day by a clever coup cle main. As a 
matter of fact, he actually did effect this coup de mcdn, not very 
long afterwards, by the engagement of the Contessa de' Rossi, 
formerly Mdlle. Sontag. With that stroke of policy we are, 
however, in no wise concerned. It is enough for us to know that 
Mdlle. Lind continued inexorable ; and that it was only after 
reiterated entreaties, that she consented to enter into an engage- 
ment for sLx " Grand Classical Performances," in which the music 
of her favom'ite Operas was to be sung, at a series of concerts, 
without the attractions of the stage. It was at first proposed 
that these performances should take place in Exeter Hall. But 
the objections to this place were insuperable. This condition, 
therefore, was afterwards waived ; and, in due time, it was 
announced in the managerial prospectus that Mdlle. Lind would 
sing in six concerts at Her Majesty's Theatre. 

It would have needed but a very little calm consideration, to 
convince all concerned that a compromise such as this could not 
by any possibility succeed — that its failure was assured, beforehand. 
The experiment was, however, tried, on Thursday, the 12th of 
April, with Mozart's II FJauto Magico ; but it broke down so 
signally that no attempt was ever made to repeat it. All that 
could be done in the Concert-room Mdlle. Lind did ; but, 
unhappily, that "all" was not enough. She sang the music 
magnificently ; and the critics did her full justice in analysing 
her performance. She had sung so faultlessly that the critic of 
The Times had been completely disarmed ; so enthralled by the 
spell she cast over her audience, that, throughout the whole of 
his notice, he had not ventured to utter one single word of 
protest against the fatal mistake she had made. Yet, the signs 
of that mistake were patent to every one ; and no one felt the 
bitterness of the position more keenly than Mdlle. Lind herself. 
For the first time, since her first great European triumph, she had 
failed to express her own ideal — not from lack of artistic power, but 

350 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. vii. 

from lack of means external to it. How could the threatened 
ruin be averted ? In one way only. She felt this, at once ; and, 
with a depth of self-renunciation well worthy of her generous 
character, she sacrificed the freedom which had so long been 
the desire of her heart, and permitted Mr. Lumley to make an 
official announcement, to the effect, that, " Although Mdlle. Lind 
had intended to take leave of the subscribers to the Opera, and 
the public, in a series of concerts, yet, as it had been urged that 
concerts would not be regarded as equally satisfactory, she had 
generously consented to suspend her intention of retiring from 
the stage, and would therefore appear in a few more per- 

The delight of the public surpassed all bounds. The subscribers 
forgot their late discontent, and appeared in crowds to welcome 
her on her reappearance. The house was filled to overflowing. 
Every incident connected with the now-familiar "Jenny Lind 
crush" was renewed at the doors. And even Mr. Lumley 
himself was satisfied with the enthusiasm manifested both by the 
occupants of the subscription boxes and the general public. 

Her Majesty and Prince Albert were among the first to welcome 
their favourite artist's return to the stage from which, as we have 
seen, she had told the Queen it was her intention to retire. As 
she was felt by them to act and sing even more exquisitely than 
she had done the previous season, they hailed her appearance with 
deep satisfaction, not unmingled with sadness that the pleasure 
was one which could not often be repeated, as the singer's 
resolution to quit the operatic stage was now well known. Only 
once were they able to see the Figlia del Reggimento — always a 
special favourite with the Queen. But they were present twice at 
the performance both of La Sonnamlula and Lucia di Lammer- 
moor ; and on the 10th of May, they saw her, with much regret, 
for the last time upon the stage, in Rolerto il Diavolo, the piece 
in which her acting and singing had, as already shown, first laid 
a strong hold upon their admiration.* 

The scene of the last farewell is thus feelingly described in the 
columns of The Times : — 

*' During the whole of Mdlle. Lind's engagement this season 
* See footnote, p. 268. 

1849.] THE LAST OPERA. 351 

there has not been so extraordinary a spectacle as was exhibited 
last night, when, as the bills stated, her ' Last Operatic Perform- 
ance ' was to take place. 

" The difference of her reception when she sang at the ' Classical 
Concert ' from that when she reappeared in La Sonncmihula must 
have struck any one who witnessed the two scenes. Though the 
theatre was the same, and the bulk of the audience nearly the 
same, on both occasions, she was greeted in the character of 
' Amina ' just as if she had been making her delut, and the 
preceding concerts had never been given. Hence, the public, who 
thought that they were witnessing, for the last time, the combi- 
nation of Jenny Lind the actress with Jenny Lind the vocalist, 
were not so much mistaken in giving all the force of a final 
interview to their visit last night. 

" Roherto il Diavolo, which, on the Italian stage, has never been 
very popular as a whole, but which has depended for its attrac- 
tion on the ' Alice ' of Mdlle. Lind, was the Opera selected. The 
character in which she first sang before a London audience was 
chosen as the one in which she was to take her leave. 

" Quanclo lascia la Normandia^ with the immortal sotto voce 
shake which has so often astonished her hearers, drew down the 
accustomed encore ; and the clinging to the Cross, with terror in 
the shrink, and faith in the countenance, seemed even more 
striking than usual, as a display of histrionic power. The 
increased sweetness and fulness of her voice, this year, has been 
a theme of universal remark ; and never was it more melodious 
than last night. 

"The applause which she received at the conclusion of the 
Opera was something remarkable. She was called three times, 
by an audience that occupied even the obscurest nooks of the 
edifice, and that universally rose when she appeared ; and so 
continuous were the plaudits, that they blended with each other 
into one roll of heavy sound. At the last call, she appeared, 
particularly moved. 

" Dming the early part of the Opera, there was a tumult in the 
house, occasioned by the crowd. 

" Her Majesty, Prince Albert, and the Duchess of Kent, 
honoured the theatre with their presence." 

With what feelings did Mdhe. Lind see the curtain descend, 
for the last time, on that thrilling scene in Roberto il Diavolo, in 
which, as she herself narrated in after years, she " stood at the 
man's right hand, and the Fiend at his left, and all she could 

352 JENNY LIND. [hk. viii. ch. vii. 

think of was, how to save him " ? Was it really a heavy trial 
through which she had elected to pass ? Did she herself feel sad 
when the last note faded into silence, and Bertram sank through 
the trap-door into the fiery depths below ? Who can tell ? She 
never spoke of such a sadness, in after life. That the last round of 
applause, the last wild shout from pit and stalls and gallery and 
boxes, was absolutely nothing to her, we know well enough. It 
could not but be less than nothing. She was too well accustomed 
to it all. Since her first appearance in The Polish Mine, in 1830, 
the stage had won for her her daily bread. For her, the excitement, 
the romance, the glamour, the thousand enticing charms which 
fascinate so many prime donne had no existence. Her "first 
appearance " was a dim memory of childhood, bearing no analogy 
whatever to the intoxicating cUhut for which most young artists 
long, as the Peri longed for Paradise, at the precious period 
during which their thoughts ought to be exclusively devoted to 
study. To her, the stage, with its cold coulisses, and its ceaseless 
round of monotonous hard work, was as prosaic as the routine of 
the school-room to a jaded governess. The simile strikes home, 
for the stage had really been her school-room ever since she was 
ten years old. 

But there was another side to the question. However little 
she may have cared for fame, she cared very much indeed for the 
Art to which she had devoted the best of all she possessed. And, 
for Art, in one of its purest and most perfect manifestations, the 
evening of the 10th of May was a very sad one. For, that last 
fall of the curtain put an end, for ever, to the operatic triumphs 
of the most gifted actress-singer the nineteenth century had pro- 
duced — put an end to them, beyond all hope of renewal ; with 
the absolute certainty, impressed upon the minds of all who were 
present, that no subsequent change of circumstances would ever 
induce the Arch-Priestess of Song, whose genius had enthralled 
them as they had never been enthralled before, to reverse the 
decision at which she had then arrived. She had written, in her 
engagement-book, at Brighton, " My last Opera-Eepresentation " 
— ^^min sista Opera-Rejireseni((iio)i'''' — and she had meant it. 
There were to be no more " last nights," after the manner to which 
the " Opera-going public " were only too well accustomed ; no 
supplementary performances, " by special desire," to be succeeded, 


in the following year, by " twelve more last appaarances," culmi- 
nating in a " grand farewell," in which she would perform " posi- 
tively for the last time." She had already appeared upon the stage 
*' for the last time ; " and all who had seen her knew it. 

Truly, this last farewell performance was impressed with a 
double significance, not easy to describe in words. For the great 
World of Art, no day so sad as this 10th of May, in 1849, had 
passed since the 4th of November, in 1847. She knew this well — 
and she must have sympathised with those who so deeply and 
sincerely regretted her retirement. Yet, for her, it brought the 
freedom, the rest, the peace, that she had longed for, year after 
year, from the moment of her first triumphs in Art-loving 

How welcome that peace and freedom were, we can divine 
from the early letters in which she told her friends how" ardently 
she looked forward to her emancipation from the trammels of the 
stage. And a circumstance which happened on this last night 
must have gladdened her heart, so full of sympathy for her 
humblest fellow-workers. 

A little more than two months before her retirement, while 

she was still on her provincial tour, she had written to Mrs. 

Stanley : — 

Wakefield, March 6, 1849. 

" I want to give concerts, here in the provinces, for Lumley's 
people, which I could do very quietly, and when I have got the 
sum I wish for, then place the money in the hands of my banker 
in London, to give to the choristers and most needy people at 
Her Majesty's Theatre, which they (Lumley and his friends) say 
that I have thrown out of employment. 

" I suppose Lumley's vanity will not be satisfied with this pro- 
posal — but that is not my care. My wish is, to help the poor — 
voUd tout. To sing rehgious words on the stage I can and will 

There is no record, in Mdlle. Lind's "Engagement-book," of 
any special concerts given, in the provinces, for " Lumley's 
people " ; but it is more than probable that a portion of the 
receipts of some of^the general performances were applied to their 
benefit. Be this as it may, they possessed Mdlle. Lind's sym- 
pathy, in the warmest degree ; and returned it, with all their 
hearts. So devoted were they to her, ,that, on that last evening, 

2 A 

354 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. vii. 

when all was over, the members of the chorus presented her with 
a gold bracelet, on the inside of which was engraved : — 






MAY 10th, 1849. 

And so the last farewell was accompanied by a touching 
incident quite apart from the demonstration in which the outer 
world took a share ; and we may be very sure that Mdlle. Lind 
remembered it, long after the sound of the last round of applause 
had been forgotten ; and that she prized the simple jewel — now 
in the possession of her daughter — not a whit less dearly than the 
costly gems presented to her by the great ones of the earth. 

With the presentation of this most delicate memorial, the 
fateful evening came to an end ; and with it, the operatic 
career of one whose name will live, in connection with the 
Musical Drama, as long as the Musical Drama itself exists. 

( 355 ) 

CHAPTER yill. 


Our readers will naturally expect us, in summing up our history 
of Mdlle. Lind's performances upon the stage, to furnish them 
with some technical remarks upon the tmibre and compass of her 
voice, and the " method " by aid of which she cultivated it. 

The voice was a brilliant and powerful Soprano, combining the 
volume and sonority of the true Soprano drammatico — to which 
class of voices it unquestionably belonged — with the lightness and 
flexibility peculiar to the more ductile and airy Soprano sfogato, 
with the characteristic tenuity of which it had, however, nothing 
in common. 

Its compass extended from B below the stave, to G on the 

fourth line above it — in technical language, from b to G ; that is 
to say, a clear range of two octaves and a sixth, as shown in the 
subjoined diagram : — ■ 






(a) The veiled notes in the middle register. 

(fc) The brilliant head-voice. 

(c) The rjl which forms so striking a feature in Mendelssohn's Elijah. 

(cZ) The ringing upper A, used with such thrilling effect in the opening 
movement of Casta diva. 

(e) The upper C forming, with the above-mentioned A, the initial 
passage ia the TanzUed aus Dalekarlien. 

(/) The F in alt, used by Mozart, in Non paventar. 

Ig) The six natural notes (C, D, E, F, G, A) in the youthful voice, to be 
presently described. 

2 A 2 

356 JEXXY LIXD. [bk. viii. ch. viii. 

The various registers of this extended compass were so skilfully 
blended into one, by the effect of art, that it was impossible for 
the most delicate or attentive ear to detect their points of 
junction. In fact, after the completion of its cultivation under 
the guidance of Signer Garcia, the entire voice became one 
homogeneous whole, so even in its calibre, that the notes were 
avowedly sung without a thought as to the best way of " placing " 

Certain regions, however, possessed marked aesthetic qualities, 
very clearly distinguishable, though they could be modified, at will, 
in accordance with the demands of the passages into which they 
were introduced. For instance, three notes of the middle register 
(the r, G-, and A, shown at (a) in the diagram), were invested, in 
piano passages, with a veiled tone of ravishing beauty — as in the 
long-drawn A, in the middle register, which forms the opening 
note of Casta diva. These three notes were more seriously iu jured 
than any other region of the voice, by the hard work and faulty 
method of production that had been forced upon Mdlle. Liud 
before her journey to Paris. It is well known to every ex- 
perienced Maestro di Canto, that more voices are injured by the 
attempt to sing these three important notes in the lower instead 
of in the middle register, than by any other error of pro- 
duction whatever ; and there can be no doubt that it was this 
error that caused so much trouble to Mdlle. Lind, who, notwith- 
standing the beautiful tone by which the notes in question were 
afterwards characterised, assured Froken Signe Hebbe * that she 
believed that they " never became quite right." 

Of the FJ so much admired by Mendelssohn, the A abov^e it, 
brought prominently forward in a syncopated passage in the same 
slow movement of Casta diva, and the same A, with the C above 
it, used as the first two notes in the Taitzlied aus Dalelcarlien, we 
have already spoken in former chapters. 

It was remarkable that these exceptionally high notes, though 
brilliant beyond description, when used at their full power, could 
be reduced to a pianissimo as perfect as that of the veiled tones of 
the middle register. The pianissimo, indeed, was one of the most 
beautiful features of Mdlle. Lind's singing. It reached to the 
remotest corner of the largest theatre or concert-room in which 

* A dramatic singer at Stockholm, wiio lately published an account of 
her intercourse with Madame Goldschmidt, in a Swedish newspaper. 

THE "METHOD." 357 

she sang ; it was as rich and full as her mezzo forte ; yet it was so 
irnlj piano that it fell upon the ear with the charm of a whisper, 
only just strong- enough to be audible. The reader will not have 
forgotten that Her Majesty regarded this pianissimo as one of 
the most beautiful characteristics of Mdlle. Lind's singing, and 
that, in the letter we have quoted at page 324, Chopin spoke of 
its " charm " as " indescribable." 

A wholly different effect — though bearing a certain sort of 
analogy to this — was produced in the Koricef/ian Echo Song by a 
pecuhar tightening of the throat, which Madame Goldschmidt 
once tried to explain to the writer, though the process was so 
purely subjective that she said it was almost impossible to describe 
it in words. The effect produced so nearly resembled that of a 
natural echo, reverberated from the opposite wall, that it never 
failed to mystify an audience before which it was presented for 
the first time. 

The notes, C, D, E, F, G, A, marked (g) in our diagram, were 
noticed by Mdlle. Lind, at a very early period, as the best notes 
of her voice. And judging, from their position in the scale, that 
her voice was intended by Nature to develope into a Soprano of 
exceptional height, she practised these notes, with the semitones 
between them, more diligently than any others, with the full 
determination to extend the process until the tone of the re- 
maining portions of the voice became as rich, as pure, and as 
powerful, as that of the six notes which she regarded as forming 
the fundamental basis of the whole. How fully she succeeded in 
carrying out this intention we know already ; and it is scarcely 
too much to say, that it was to this firm resolve, and the clear 
foresight which prompted it, that her ultimate success is mainly 
to be attributed. 

Mdlle. Lind's voice was not by nature a flexible one. The rich 
sustained tones of the soprano drammatico were far more con- 
genial to it, than the rapid execution which usually characterises 
the lighter class of soprano voices. But this she attained also, by 
almost superhuman labour. Her perseverance was indefatigable. 
Among the Cadenze with which she was accustomed to embellish 
Jier favourite Airs was one adapted to a Movement from 
Beatrice di Tenda, introducing a scale passage ascending chro- 
matically to the upper E flat, and then descending in the same 
manner. She once, while at the zenith of her career, told Froken 

358 JENNY LIND. [bk. vm. ch. vm. 

Signe Hebbe that she had practised this passage all her life, but 
that it was only quite lately that she had succeeded in satisfying 
herself with it ; adding, that she never allowed herself to in- 
dulge in singing such difficult passages before the public, until 
she had thoroughly mastered them, but preferred simplifying 
them to running the risk of an imperfect rendering of the notes. 

Another remarkable feature in Mdlle. Lind's singing was the 
shake, which she delivered, at will, either with unapproachable 
brilliancy, or in the form of a whisper, more like the warbling 
of a bird than the utterance of a human voice. 

Though it is necessary that a perfect shake should always begin 
with, and lay the metrical accent continuously upon, the written 
note, it is notorious that most shakes fail through want of atten- 
tion on the part of the singer to the upper auxiliary or un- 
written note. The general tendency is to let this note gradually 
flatten, until, in very bad cases, the distance between the two 
notes is diminished from a tone, to little more than a semitone. 
So well is this fact known, that the late Mr. Cipriani Potter 
once told the writer how he had been taught, in his youth, to 
separate the notes so widely that " a cocked hat could be thrown 
between them." Mdlle. Lind devised a cure for this corrupt 
delivery of the shake. In teaching, she legem by impressing the 
upjjer note upon the ear, as the most important, both as to 
strength and duration, at this early stage of the process ; lean- 
ing, as it were, upon it, and slurring up to it from the lower 
interval. She employed for this purpose, first, the leap of a fifth, 
then that of a fourth, and so on, until she reached the semitone, 
continuing the shake exercise between the two intervals, ivhatever 
their distance, for some time, before proceeding from the wider 
intervals to a lesser one ; always adhering to the upper note as 
the most important one ; and always making beginners practise 
it with extreme slowness.* 

The following exemplification of this particular exercise, written, 
by herself, a few years ago, for the guidance of a young vocalist, 
has been found among her music : — 

^ (c.) {h)^ Jo) 

L^ '--d^ ^^ 


♦ Cf. p. 70. 



(a) (h) 







At a later period of instruction, the notes marked {a) and (b) 
were to be omitted, and the succession of intervals blended into 
one continuous exercise, thus : — 

But it was not until after considerable advance had been made, 
that the exercise was allowed to be sung with any degree of 

When, at last, after diligent practice, the perfect shake was 
attained, it was sung with the rhythmic accent on the real or 
written note, thus : — 








The various effects we have here attempted to describe would 
have been impossible, but for that skilful management of the 
breath of which we have before had occasion to speak when 
treating of Mdlle. Lind's studies under the guidance of Signor 
Garcia. Her chest had not the natural capacity of Mdlle. 

3 60 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. viii. 

Alboni's, or Signor Enbini's ; but she renewed her breath so 
rapidly, so quietly, so cleverly, that the closest observer could 
never detect the moment at which the lungs were replenished ; 
and, by the outside world, her extraordinary sustaining power was 
attributed to abnormal capacity of the lungs. The apparent 
ease with which she attained this difficult end was due to an art- 
fully-studied combination of the processes technically termed 
*'cos/«/," and " davicular * breathing " ; in the first of which — used 
only after the completion of a distinct phrase of the vocal melody — 
the lower part or " base " of the lungs, freed from the last remains 
of the previous breathy is refilled, to its utmost capacity, without 
undue precipitation, yet with sufficient rapidity to answer all 
practical purposes ; while in the second — used for the continua- 
tion of phrases too long for delivery within the limits of a single 
inspiration — the lungs are neither completely emjjtied, nor com- 
pletely refilled^ but replenished only, by means of a gentle inhala- 
tion, confined to that portion of the organ which lies immediately 
beneath the davicuJce, or collar-bones. The skill wdth which 
these two widely different processes were interchanged, when cir- 
cumstance demanded their alternate employment, was such as 
can only be acquired by long and unwearied practice, untram- 
melled by prejudice either for or against any special method 
W'hatever ; and it is not too much to say, that it was to the sus- 
taining power, acquired by this careful management of the breath, 
that Mdlle. Lind owed her beautiful 7;/<^;^/ss/??2o, and that marvellous 
command of the messa di voce which enabled her to swell out a 
crescendo to its utmost limit, and follow it, without a break, by 
a diminuendo which died away to an imperceptible point, so com- 
pletely covering the end of the note that no ear could detect the 
moment at which it faded into silence. 

And no less complete was Mdlle. Lmd's command over the 
difficulties of articulation than over those of vocalisation pure 
and simple. Her delivery of the difficult — we had almost said, 
impossible — passage in the grand Scena from Der Freischiitz — 
Tduscht das Licht des Monds mich nicht ! f — though so clear and 

* Within the last few years, an attempt has been made to invest the term, 
clavicular breathing, with a mode of filling the lungs, pernicious, to the last 
degree — a process which, we need scarcely say, was never practised, either by 
Mdlle. Lind, or Eubini, whose method of breathing seems to have been closely 
analogous to, if not absolutely identical with, her own. 

t " Does not the light of the moon deceive me ! " 

THE ''METHOD." 361 

distinct that not a syllable lost its full meaning, was nevertheless 
so soft and smooth that it could scarcely have been surpassed in 
Italian. We do not hesitate to say that she was the only great 
singer by whom we have heard tliis famous crux surmounted 
without a trace of harshness in the delivery of the words. 
On one occasion Madame Birch-Pfeiffer left her, alone, prac- 
tising the word zersplittre (" to shiver to pieces "), on a high 
B flat, in the opening Recitative in Norma; and, returning 
several hours afterwards, found her still practising the same 
word. And she continued to practise it, until she succeeded 
in pronouncing it quite perfectly on the high note, though 
few even of the best German vocalists attain a better pronuncia- 
tion than zerspldttre. But she never erred in the delivery of even 
the most difficult word in any language whatsoever. So perfect 
was the mastery she exercised over larynx, throat, lips, tongue, 
teeth, soft palate, each and all, that never a syllable was stifled at 
its birth, never a vowel-sound corrupted in its passage through 
the longest groups of mingled leap, arpeggio, or scale. It was 
this high quality that lent so potent a charm to the complicated 
" divisions," the rapid passages of ftoritura of which Lablache, 
in describing them to Madame Grisi, said that " every note was 
a pearl." The purity of the vowel-sound, by which the pearls 
were strung together, secured their perfect equality of tone and 
timbre ; and, whether the most rapid notes were sung legato, or 
staccato, they either ran on velvet, or rang out sharply and 
clearly as the touch of a m.andolme. The tecJmique, in either case, 
was absolutely faultless, and its perfection was entirely the result 
of hard work, indefatigable practice, unwearying study. To the 
end of her career, she never sang in the evening without pre- 
paring for the performance by practising for . a long time, earlier 
in the day — generally, a mezza voce, to avoid fatiguing the voice 
unnecessarily, but, never sparing the time or trouble. And 
herein lay the secret of her victory over difficulties which tempt 
so many less courageous aspirants to despair. 

Undoubtedly, the " method " thus diligently cultivated was, in 
many points, subjective. Mdlle. Lind felt, but could not always 
explain, the principles upon which she worked. We possess, 
however, a letter written by her to Fraulein von Jaeger, which 
enters into some particulars connected with our present subject 
of consideration, so curiously interesting, that we cannot refrain 

362 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. viii. 

from publishing them, though the communication bears a date 

far later than that at which the purely narrative portion of our 

work comes to a close. 

" Ems, June 8, 1855. 

" And what is my good Gusti doing ? Is she working as 
industriously as ever at her singing ? 

" The chief thing that I have to say, to-day, concerns that part 
of Friedrich Schmitt's ' Singing-school ' of which you wish for an 

" I do not think you have rightly understood the point. Eead 
the paragraph again, and it will surely become clearer to you. 

" XaturaUy, he does not mean that you are to attack a note 
twice ; but that, before you sound the note, the larynx must be 
properly prepared in the position in which the forthcoming 
sound lies, whether high or low. The result of this is a firm attack ; 
and, as soon as you have sounded one note, you must spring so 
nimbly on all those above — or below it — that no rift can be 
detected between the sounds ; and, in this way, the completion of 
the phrase is accomplished without a break. For instance, the 

must so hang together that they make one whole ; and this 
results from binding and striking them, at one and the same time 
— ^if I may so express myself — though it is almost impossible to 
explain this clearly in words. But I have often spoken to my 
Ousti about this, and shown it to her. It lies in the flexibility of 
the larynx, and must therefore be practised. Sing your exercise, 
then, so that this flexibility of the throat may be quickly developed. 
The attack of the single notes will thus be improved ; and the 
string of notes will follow." 

Madame Goldschmidt is quite right, when she says that " it is 
almost impossible to explain this clearly, in words." No one 
knew, better than she did, that the best ' Singing-schools ' that 
ever were published are useless without the aid of a teacher ; for 
until she found a teacher in Signer Garcia, she wandered daily 
farther and farther from the true path, until, in the end, her 

* ' Grosse Gesang-Schule fiir Deutscliland,' von Friedrich Sclimitt 
(Miiuchen, 1854) ; a work of which Madame Goldschmidt thought so 
highly, that she permitted her testimonial to be printed in connection 
with it. 

THE "METHOD." 363 

voice but narrowly escaped from utter destruction. When once 
the truth was pointed out to her, her quick perception and un- 
erring musical instinct enabled her to grasp it at a glance ; and, 
when once she began to practise upon true principles, the diffi- 
culties she had formerly experienced with regard to the method 
of voice-production were at an end. 

On one point she always insisted very strongly. She had an 
innate hatred of the contortions with which so many vocalists of 
inferior order disfigure their features when delivering the passages 
they wish to render most impressive. She was never satisfied 
with a song, unless the singer " looked pleasant." She regarded 
singing as a beautiful gift of Nature ; a gift for which those who 
possess it should feel truly thanlvf ul, and proclaim their thankful- 
ness by the expression of their features. She had a horror of 
careless articulation, even in speaking. And she felt firmly 
persuaded that the practice of singing, on the true " method," 
tended to the invigoration of the body, and especially of a weak 
chest. She even thought that the lives of many persons with a 
tendency to consumption might have been prolonged, if they had 
learned to breathe, and sing, in the right way — an opinion which 
is held by many medical authorities of highest reputation, and 
the correctness of which is undoubtedly proved by recorded 

So deeply penetrated was Madame Goldschmidt with love for 
her Art, and faith in its ennobling influence, that, to the end of 
her life, she took the keenest interest in promoting its instruc- 
tion, upon the true and well-tried principles of the pure Italian 

The following letter to the late Mr. H. C. Deacon, in whose 
method of instruction she felt great confidence, is one of the last 
she wrote upon the subject : — 

" Wynd's Point, Colwall, Malvern, July 31st, 1885. 

" Dear Mr. Deacox, 

" It was very kind of you to let me know about the 
Examinations.* I am glad to hear that my sheep did not badly. 

If would put her mind into her work she might become a 


* At the Eoyal College of IMusic, wliere Madame Goldschmidt was then 
directinc( the training of the female vocal scholars. 

364 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. viii. 

" I can but do my best ; and, with my enormous experience, 
and a life's study, I ought to be able to bring out singers. 

" Singing is as much moral and mental as it is mechanical. It 
is the combination of those qualities which alone can form the 
master and pupil. 

" I hope you and Mrs. Deacon are better, and that you will now 
have some rest. 

" Yours sincerely, 


We can scarcely close our present chapter more profitably 
than by presenting our readers with a summary of the work 
performed by Mdlle. Lind, in connection with the Operatic Stage, 
between her first appearance in Der Freiscliutz, on the 7th of 
March, 1838, and her last, in Rolerto il Diavolo, on the 10th of 
May, 1849 — a period of little more than eleven years, during 
which she appeared in 30 Operas, 677 times. 







































The iingiish 
1 Edinburgh. 
1 Glasgow. 
1 Dublin. 


Jja Sonnambula (Bellini) 
Lucia di Lammermoor 1 

(Donizetti) . . . ./ 
Norma (Bellini) . . . 
Boberto il Diavolo (Meyer-| 

beer) / 

La Figlia del Beggimento] 

(Donizetti) . . . ./ 
Der Freischiitz (Weber) . 
Divertissement National] 

(Berwald) . . . ./ 
Das Feldlager in Schlesien) 

(Meyerbeer). . . ./ 
A May Day in Wdrend\ 

(Berwald) . . . ./ 
Die Zauberflote (Mozart) . 
H Don Giovanni (Mozart) 
Le Nozze di Figaro (Moz^vt) 
Marie (B.eY0]d) . . . 
La Vestale (Spontini) 
Les Huguenots (Meyer-) 

beer) ) 

Die Schioeizer Familie\ 

(Weigl) / 

Euryanthe (Weber) . , 
La Straniera (Bellini) . 
n Turco in Italia (Rossini) 
UElisir d'Amore (Doni-\ 

zetti) / 

I Puritani (Bellim) . . 
Ferdinand Corie2(Spontini) 
Jag gar i Kloster (Ber-" 


Le Chateau de Montenero^ 

(Dalayrac) . . . ./ 
Armida (Gluck) . . . 
Anna Bolena (Donizetti). 
La Gazza Ladra (Rossini) 
I Masnadieri (Verdi) . 
The Elves (Van Boom) . 
Semiramide (Rossini) . 





















































6 1 1 
1 1 . 

4 .. 1 

2 98 

il 78 

. .. 75 

. .. 73 

2 62 
. .. 51 




1 ** 





. .. 27 
. .. 23 

. .. 21 

.'.. 18 
.'.. 13 
. .. 13 
.i.. 11 
. .. 10 






.. .. 

.. ^.. 


i :: 1:: 
.. I.. 

1 " 

.L. 10 

. .. 10 


.].. 9 
. .. 9 
. .. 9 

. .. 8 

. 1 6 
. .. 6 

. .. 6 

. .. 6 

. .. 5 
.. .. 5 
.. .. 4 
.. .. 4 
.. .. 4 
.. .. 3 

Number of performances! 
in each city . . . . / 

Total number of Operas . 















1 ^ 

' 3 









11 2 

363 . . 

;2 6 677 

366 JENNY LINE . [bk. viii. ch. ix. 



Sweden remained ever the veritable home to which Jenny Lind's 
heart turned with the affection which is given to no other land 
but that in which one first draws living breath. " One's heart is 
in one's own country," she once "RTote to an old friend, in her 
later years, at the time of a visit of the Crown Prince of Sweden 
to London, " and mine, certainly, is Swedish to the very backbone 
of my body and soul." 

It was, again, in Germany that she found the home of her 
artistic spirit. There the music in her kindled into its fullest 
life. There she breathed the air in which her art knew itself to 
be in its native dwelling-place. 

But England was to become the home of her adoption, in 
whose soil she was to take root. There she was to build herself 
a home ; to see her children and her grandchildren grow up 
about her ; and there she was, at last, to find her grave. 

And we may well stop, therefore, at the close of our account of 
her appearances in England, to take note of that which drew her 
to view this country with special favour and affection ; and to 
cast a glance, both backward and forward, over those social and 
domestic ties which now already began to knit her fast to those 
friends among whom, in after days, she found such intimate 

In doing this, we are still loyal to our purpose of recording 
the Artist-life of Jenny Lind ; for we have already, at the outset 
of her career in Stockholm, shown how closely and peculiarly her 
personal character entered into her artistic effect ; how impossible 
it was to dissociate the one from the other. The genius which 
showed itself in her song, was identically the same which 
discovered itself in her private intercourse. Whether off the 
stage or on it, it was the same characteristic personality, which 


spoke in every detail of her natural life, and was felt alive behind 
or within every note of her voice. It is essential, therefore, to 
her portraiture as an artist that she should be known as a woman. 

And it is, perhaps, just here that we find something of the 
secret of that attachment which drew her towards the English 
and the English towards her. For, as a people, we find it 
difficult to appreciate Art in the abstract. We want it clothed in 
f)esh and blood ; concrete, personal. We are in haste to relate 
it to moral and religious considerations, apart from which it is 
apt to appear to us as a mere pastime. Art that speaks solely in 
Art's own name always bewilders us. But when it comes to 
us in the form of one who, like Jenny Lind, illuminates the 
seriousness of the artist with the inspiration of a pure and noble 
womanhood, and with the spiritual fervour of one who holds her 
gifts as a mission from God, then the Enghsh people can see and 
understand what is going forward. 

Therefore it was that the effect told straight home on the 
English public, and they surrendered themselves to her magic 
with an intensity which belongs to a strong and reserved people 
who find it difficult to yield, but, when they yield, yield alto- 
gether. Mendelssohn was a good prophet when he assured her 
that she would find in England a welcome of quite peculiar 
warmth — a welcome that would recognise the special tone of her 
character. And, in return, she responded to this welcome with 
enthusiasm. In spite of the ugly incident which beclouded her 
early appearances, and which revealed to her the coarse grain of a 
manager like Mr. Bunn, and the passionate malice that agitated 
much of the operatic world in London, she became exceedingly 
happy here. "I am charmed, quite beyond words, with 
England," she wrote from Clairville, in July, 1847, to her dear 
friend Madame Wichmann. She made friends quickly ; and she 
loved the friends she made. And it is of these that we would 
now speak. For it is in them that we shall see how it was that, 
in spite of much that she herself had to complain of in us, — in 
spite of our stupid practicality, our insensibility to artistic ideals, 
our coldness of manner, our sunless skies, — she yet found here in 
England a temper that responded to her aspirations, and gave full 
and encouraging scope to her endowments. 

Let us take a look at one or two circles which will specially 
illustrate the attachments which she formed at this time. 

368 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ix. 

We have already heard much of her alliance with Mrs. Grote, 
whose friendship for her played a large part in her earliest days 
among us. The Grotes were fascinated by her ; and they devoted 
themselves to chaperoning her through that brilliant London 
Society into which she had been plunged. Mrs. Grote was in the 
very heart of the literary and musical world. At her house 
might be found Mendelssohn, Chopin, Thalberg, Lablache. Her 
husband, the historian of Greece, was in intimate contact with 
the chief writers and thinkers of the day — with John Stuart 
Mill, Cornewall Lewis, Milman, Sydney Smith. All that was 
moving would be heard of, and touched, in the circle into which 
Mrs. Grote introduced her new friend ; and she was only too 
eager to take her everywhere and show her everybody. 

But that new friend was singularly unlike her busy chaperone. 
She loathed the bustle and glitter of the big world. She shrank 
from the public gaze ; she could not endure to be made an object 
of curiosity. Nor, indeed, could the tempers and minds of the 
two women have ever fallen closely together. Nothing could be 
more remote from Jenny Lind's estimates of life than the ideas 
and principles which reigned in that house. George Grote was 
the intellectual pupil of James Mill ; he was the depository of the 
traditions of Benthamism. He was a stiff political economist of 
the abstract school ; an ardent republican, a hater of churches 
and creeds. He professed that dry and tough Utilitarianism, 
which holds Idealists cheap. His wife was a woman of keen and 
strong intellectual character, delighting in the stir of men and 
things ; a forcible figure in the thick of the thronging world of 
cultivated society. 

With such intense difference of atmosphere, it is greatly to the 
credit of Mrs. Grote's kindness, that she succeeded in making 
Jenny Lind so pleased with her intimacy. She evidently threw 
herself in, heart and soul, with her young friend's fortunes ; she 
put her house at her disposal ; she advised and directed her ; 
she gave up her time to her ; she listened to her confidences ; 
she introduced her to her many acquaintances ; she took her 
rides and picnics to Wimbledon, and gave her the free run of the 
Burnham Cottage, where she could wander freely in the woods, 
and freshen her voice. She accompanied her on provincial tours, 
and encompassed her about, in the midst of that hurrying and 
exciting turmoil, with pleasant companionship. To one, Hke 


Jenny Lind, who was besieged by fears, and suspicions, and dis- 
mays, and needed always to feel the succour of friendly advice 
close at hand, it was everything to have such a constant and 
kindly refuge to turn to, as Mrs. Grote's house. And that house 
held in it, also, the presence of one, whose faithful loyalty to her 
service was invaluable. Edward Lewin, Mrs. Grote's brother, was 
one of the best and truest friends she ever possessed. He was 
already well known to her through his sister, Madame Koch, at 
Stockholm. It was at his house there, that she had appeared in 
the Tableaux Yivants, as St. Cecilia. It was he who went to 
Vienna, to persuade her to venture on the English journey ; and 
now that she was come, he patiently attended to her interests ; he 
looked after her affairs ; he did everything for her that a wise and 
good man could, in the way of kind-hearted direction, and super- 
vision ; and always with a reserved and unobtrusive devotion, that 
was as delicate as it was true. He must have done more than any 
one to smooth her path, and to save her from trouble and blunder, 
during those two years in England ; and his friendship remained 
a constant source of comfort and strength to her. 

Such was the circle into which she came at the start. But she 
was very soon to find her way into another home of a very 
different type, where she passed under influences which affected 
her whole Hfe and character. She was engaged to sing at 
Norwich in the September of 1847 ; and in the preceding July 
she got the letter of invitation, which has already been given,* 
from the Bishop of Norwich, in which he expresses his desire " to 
make acquaintance with one whose high character and principles 
were on a par with her superior talents." In those days, such an 
invitation to one who was engaged at the Opera, was remarkable 
enough. English society, and especially English religious society, 
was strangely and stupidly conventional. The Bishop's act was a 
striking evidence of the unique position which Jenny Lind had 
already, from the very beginning, assumed. And it proved to be 
much more than this. It was an introduction into a household, 
where she found that affectionate and intimate environment 
which was so dear to her. Bishop Stanley brought to her the 
watchful care of a father ; Mrs. Stanley gave to her a motherly 
devotion, to which she could entrust her tenderest confidences. 
And, then, there was Mary Stanley, the daughter, her close friend 
* Bcok VII. Cli. IX. 

370 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ix. 

for years, full of character and interest ; and there was Arthur 
Penrhyn Stanley, the son, whose enthusiasm for her was the 
spring of an enduring intimacy, which lasted until his death, in 
the Deanery at Westminster, in 1881. 

We have read already the letter in which Arthur Stanley 
describes, with delicious freshness, her first arrival, in September, 
1847.* In that letter, everything has been said that could make 
vivid the personal impression she produced. We will notice, 
here, but one little matter in it ; and that is, the startling com- 
parison of her smile to that of Dr. Pusey. The comparison 
would, no doubt, have surprised no one more than herself. But 
even those who only knew the face of the great Oxford Doctor 
in extreme old age, would understand at once the allusion, as they 
recall the sudden lift of those grey eyebrows, and the beaming 
kindliness of the fatherly outlook from under them, that lit up 
the whole countenance as with an illumination. 

Here, then, in this household, she kindled an interest, and 
established an intimacy, which had lasting effects upon her future. 
On the 28th of September, the Bishop wrote a farewell letter to 
Jenny Lind, which marks the depth and reality of the friendship 
which these few days had been enough to seal. It will reveal 
how profoundly the influences, then set moving, entered into the 
secret places of • her life. The letter accompanied portraits of 
himself and his wife. 

" My dear Miss Lind, — 

" I am well aware that it is with you a general rule not to 
accept presents ; but I persuade myself that the enclosed two 
portraits will be received as an exception, and that when restored 
to your relatives and friends in your native land, you will, in 
looking upon them, recall to mind one whose interest in your 
welfare has been increased tenfold during the few short days you 
were his guest. 

" Believe me, it will be my earnest prayer, that, in the high 
and perilous position in which you are placed, the God whom 
you so devotedly serve with such humility and simplicity, may 
ever bless and protect you, and enable you to carry out more and 
more the objects you have at heart. Under His guidance, go on 
and prosper. You have left us ; but we shall never forget you, 
and I look forward with deep interest to the time when I again 

* Book VII. Ch. IX. 


may meet you, as one who has gained the affections of every 
member of my family : and when I may have further conversation 
with you on the many subjects of vital importance on which I 
would willingly have spoken more at large when you were with 
us. Believe me, " Yours, very sincerely, 

" E. Norwich." 

There was another Bishop, a guest in the Palace at the time, 
who both received, and gave, a vital impression. A year and a 
half later when she returned to Norwich she spoke of the many 
things said to her by the Bishop of Tasmania, which she had not 
understood at the time, but had seen the truth of since. His 
words had clung about her : and they had evidently been on the 
deep matters of life. And if he had impressed her, she, certainly, 
in those brief four days, had profoundly stirred him. A letter 
written to her by him in July, 1849, from Hobart Town, 
Tasmania, is a touching revelation of the way in which her 
memory lived with him, amid interests so remote, and so alien. 
He begins by telling her of his difficulty in addressing her ; for 
he| can no more call her " Miss Lind " than he would speak of 
*' Mr. Shakespeare," or " 2Ir. Milton." 

"They are names endeared to English people. And so with 
you. We know you, esteem you, admire you, and talk of you, as 
' Jenny Lind.' By that name the poor bless you ; and the rich 
regard you as one who has by her noble example, exalted at once 
her profession and herself. By that name you are known even in 
this distant part of the world, 16,000 miles away from your own 
home. . . . You have had a rare, a most rare gift from God. And 
He has given you the grace to use it, not merely for your own 
profit, or the delight of others, but for the suffering children — 
even as He would have you use it. . . . "We may never meet again ; 
but believe me, dear friend (if I may call you so), I shall never forget 
you though half the world lies between us, and though it is 
scarcely possible that I may be permitted to see your face again 
on earth. 

" Believe me, 

" Most sincerely your friend, 

" F. R. TASiTANIA." 

In January, 1849, she was once again at the Palace at Norwich. 
Mrs. Stanley in a letter to her sister tells how she received a 
surprise prepared for her by the Bishop. 

2 B 2 

372 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ix. 

" She did look so delighted to be here, and when somebody 
hoped that she would not forget the step up into the library, said, 
' Oh, I have forgotten nothing ! ' I took her to her room where 
the Swedish Bible was open on her dressing-table with the texts 
inscribed in the Bishop's best hand. She bent down to read them 
earnestly ; and then opened the book at various places ; and then, 
she returned to the texts, and went slowly over then, drawing her 
finger emphatically under the words 'The Lord preserve thy 
going out and thy coming in, etc.,' then she broke out into 
something like Arthur at the Pyrenees, ' What shall I do ? 
What shall I do ? '" 

Below the Bishop's signature in the Bible, he had written out 
the selected verses, Psa. cxxi. 7, 8, and Phil. i. 9, 10.* 

It is worth while to give all this in detail, in order that we 
may understand at what level her friendship with the family was 
pitched. The Bible, with its texts, and its graceful letter, is an 
index of the depth and the force of the influences which drew her 
to the Stanleys, and they to her. As we hear of these little 
tendernesses, as we read the strong words of commendation, as 
we follow Mrs. Stanley's affectionate transmission of it all to her 
listening sister, we can measure what it meant to Jenny Lind to 
be encompassed with all the home intimacies which she held so 
dear, and, above all, to find that those intimacies of the heart 
were so closely concerned with the spiritual fortunes of the soul. 
She thoroughly sympathised with this high language, which held 
the religious interests of life so near to the surface, and inwove 
them into the common texture of daily intercourse. It was a 
house entirely to her mind, with its warm sympathies, and its 
simple, earnest pieties. Here is Mrs. Stanley's report to her sister 
at the end of this visit : 

" Her future will be most interesting to watch. There is such 
a depth of veneration in her, such a reverence for all that is holy, 
such capabilities of love and devotion. She said she had no wish 
to make more friends, she had enough ; and her manner is that 
of preventing any intimacy. One very remarkable thing, which 
did not strike me till afterwards, is that she treats her superiors 
as we do royalty — never originates anything, never speaks fiist, 
never comes to sit down by you. To her equals and inferiors 

♦ " The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, etc." — Psalm cxxxi. 7, 8. 
*• And this I pray, that your love may abound, etc." — Philippiaus i. 9, 10. 


nothing could be more courteous or frank. She never speaks 
of herself, never appears to think of herself ; she has just that 
self-forgetting earnestness about everything, which is the deside- 
ratum in . I was glad, however, to hear her say that though 

she never kept a journal, her memory was strong, and that there 
was nothing that had ever happened to her of which she had not 
a most distinct recollection. To some one who was speaking of 
the world she said, 'The world is one great lie.' Yesterday, 
Mr. Richmond, the artist, dined here ; and it was beautiful to 
hear him speak of her ; it was just with that same appreciation 
of the peculiar charm of her character and countenance that Mr. 
Lawrence had ; but he said that he would himself shrink from 
the attempt to paint her .... 

" All our previous impressions of her have been confirmed, and 
all change in her is for the better." 

Madame Salis-Schwabe was another friend in whose house she 
was made at home, and with whom grew up, during these same 
years, a lasting and confidential intimacy. Her husband, a rich 
manufacturer at Manchester, was a man of culture, a refined, and 
cultivated musician, full of both religious and philanthropic 
interest. They received Jenny Lind at the time of her visit to 
Manchester ; they invited her to their beautiful place on the 
Menai Straits. To Madame Schwabe she spoke and wrote freely 
of things that were on her mind. Already, in 1848, they were 
on most affectionate terms ; and, evidently, from the fun that 
came bubbling out in the letters, Jenny Lind felt herself to be 
thoroughly understood, so that she could write with unhindered 
freedom. Madame Schwabe, too, was a relative of a young 
pianist of Hamburg, in whose fortunes Jenny Lind had already 
taken a warm interest, " a very amiable young man, who, cer- 
tainly, has much talent and much feeling," as she writes in 
August, 1848, to her friend. His name was Otto Goldschmidt. 

Two other friends there were, who, in 1849, called out her 
special affection — Baroness French, and her daughter Georgina. 
Her letters to them brim over with touching fondness ; and it is 
delightful to see in them her strong feelings struggling through 
the English language, which she is determined to use, however 
uncertain her control over it. 

" I don't know if you can understand my miserable English," 
she writes to Miss French, " but I prefer to write ever so bad 

374 JENNY LIND. [bk. viii. ch. ix. 

English than the very best French !"...."! feel a great deal 
foryou, mj dear Miss French. And as I can never change when 
I once love a person, you may be assured that I shall always and 
for ever be yours truly affectionate, 

"Jenny Lind." 

In these letters conies out that anxious clinging to the love of 
those of whoip. she was fond, w^hich was noticeable in her. She 
is in suspicion lest it should be withdrawn from her ; she needs 
reassurance of its survival. Was it her harsh experiences in 
childhood which had left in her this note of fear, lest she should 
find herself forgotten ? 

" Take not away, I entreat you, your kindness and friendship 
towards me, dear lady," she writes to the Baroness, "and be 
assured that I think of you, and remember you with true and 
sincere affection ! My sister-love and sister-blessing to Miss 
Georgina. Send me sometimes a few words which tell me about 
your health and happiness. For such kindness my heart will 
always feel thankful ! " 

There are many passages, in these letters, full of the same 
tender longings. We have touched on them just to illustrate 
both the intensity of her personal affection, which flowed out 
with the enthusiasm of a child towards those whom she felt con- 
genial ; and also the pathetic anxiety which seemed to plead 
against the dreaded relapse into the loneliness of her wandering 
dramatic career. As she wrote from Paris, "she needed much 
love." Yet she found it hard to wholly shake off a haunting 
distrust of the love given her, as if it was too good and precious 
a boon to endure. 

These letters reveal, also, how intimate, and how loving were 
the ties that now knit her to the English. Not only had the 
public welcome been all that Mendelssohn had foretold, but 
behind that, she had found an entry into hearts which responded 
eagerly to her own. She felt herself cherished and nourished ; 
the fountains of affection were freely opened, and she drank at 
them with thankful delight. True, there was no home that 
could surpass, in dearness, and in comfort to her soul, that house 
of the Wichmanns in Berlin, whither her deepest confidence still 
turned to rest. But yet we can see that there was much in 


England to explain the burst of enthusiasm with which she closes 
a letter, written in 1850, from Liibeck to Madame Salis-Schwabe, 
after a delightful wandering in Central Europe. 

" Ah ! Meran ! how splendid, how divine it is there ! And 
Switzerland too ! how lovely and magnificent ! But nowhere 
can I find England again ! I love England with all my soul, and 
I long to be there again ! " 

376 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

F K U I T I N 



How many times has that question been asked ! "Who that has 
ever heard of her, has failed, at some moment or other of his 
interest in her story, to ask it ? 

And, indeed, it is no Hght question to ask ; to answer it, one 
must go down to the very roots of her mental life. For it was, 
in her case, not merely the withdrawal of a great singer from the 
special field in which she had won her triumphs. Such an one 
might still have full opportunity of exercising her gift. Jenny 
Lind herself was to find a noble sphere in the concert-room, in 
the Oratorio ; she never reaped a more amazing success, nor 
kindled a more rapturous emotion, than in that historic American 
tour which followed her withdrawal from the stage. 

But she was not only a singer. She was a Dramatic genius of 
the first rank. It was the combination of this dramatic force 
with her wonderful song which constituted her unique pre- 
eminence. This was her natural vocation ; it had been her 
familiar arena from early childhood. She had been bred up in 
it ; she knew its innermost secrets. She possessed the genuine 
power of transposing her whole personality into a character. She 
had the magnetic influence which penetrated her audience 
through and through with her interpretation of the part which 
she was playing. And all this she sacrificed — sacrificed utterly 
and for ever, by her own act, her own solitary will, while yet a 
girl, at the supreme moment of her fame, in the teeth of plea and 
protest from a desperate public and imploring managers. 

1845-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 377 

Why, then, was it ? What were her motives ? 

At least, it is clear that it was due to no impatient impulse or 
wilful mood. It was the issue of a deliberate intention, slowly 
and steadily built up out of her experience, grounded upon her 
deepest personal conviction. It is this that we must first 
recognise ; and to do so we must go back behind the actual date 
at which her story now stands, and dig out the earlier years of 
this her resolution. It will then be seen that the resolution grew 
parallel with the growth of her European fame. There appear to 
be no traces of it left in her written records, so long as she was 
winning her triumphs at home, in Stockholm, or in the 
neighbouring Copenhagen. In Paris, under Garcia, she was 
taking close and eager interest in her dramatic profession, 
watching the Parisian stage for hints and suggestions, noting 
and contrasting the acting capacities of Rachel and herself.* 
She spoke then of a strong desire to feel the boards again under 
her feet. Everything indicates that she was then looking 
forward to an Operatic career as her natural profession, and was 
spending pains upon her histrionic as well as upon her musical 
education. On her return, she threw herself into her parts with 
unhindered freedom ; there is no hint of a recoil. 

When, then, can this recoil from the stage be first detected ? 
At a most remarkable moment. It is in the full swing of her first 
Continental successes : it is in the very heart of her intense 
enjoyment of the superb opportunities that were suddenly opening 
out before her. It is on the Rhine, in the September of that 
great year of her Berlin triumphs, 1845, that we, for the first 
time, encounter the motive to leave the stage in a positive shape ; 
and, what is most noticeable, is that already, at this earliest 
manifestation of it, it has taken the form of a fixed and definite 

We hear of it from Mrs. Grote's MS. Memoir, whom, it will be 
remembered, she met at Frankfort for the first time during that 
September. To her, she quietly confided her intention. She 
spoke of her intense dislike to the entourage which a theatre 
necessitated ; of the exhausting fatigue involved in dramatic 
singing ; of the physical risks ; and over against all this dis- 
tracting environment, she set her own simple tastes and humble 

* Book II. Ch. II., p. 77. 

378 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

Mrs. Grote, as she listened to tlie tale of trouble, evidently felt 
that this intense distaste for the character of the life came from 
no superficial worry, but belonged both to the physical and 
spiritual realities of her natm-e. She sums up her conclusions in 
her private Note-book : — 

" Owing to a highly excitable nervous temperament," she 
writes, " she appears to be ill-suited to the conflicts which attend 
a triumphant career, and will, I fear, cub short her scenic life and 
retire to Sweden to lead a quiet and tranquil existence as soon as 
she has the means of doing so." * 

Evidently, the writer of these words was sure that this intention 
sprang out of no transitory mood of Jenny Lind. All its 
outlines are steadily fixed ; and Mrs. Grote as she listens, sees 
reason to fear that it will most certainly be carried out. 

And, moreover, Mrs. Grote recognises the reality of the reasons 
given. She evidently agrees that this nervous structure is too 
excitable to bear the strain of a triumphant career. She fears for 
the loss to the stage of gifts so delicious ; but she cannot deny or 
refute the cogency of the justification. 

And, then, the reasons ! They are suggested, here, in their 
most natural and most frequent form ; and they well bear special 
notice, for they mean much. It is not the drama as such, which 
is condemned. She sees nothing wrong or disreputable in it. It 
is only the conditions which belong to a triumphant dramatic 
career which seem to her so intolerable, as she looks from out of 
the midst of the turmoil of a Continental tour back to quiet 
memories of her Swedish home. We can imagine what it would 
mean to her — this incessant irritation of the entourage, acting 
upon nerves that were already lacerated by exhaustion. 

And then, is not the phrase in which Mrs. Grote sums up the 
significance of what she heard, full of obvious force ? The 
European triumph had thrust her out into the public arena. She 
would now have to push her way forward in the very thick of 
that rough battle which the fierce competition of the theatrical 
world made inevitable. No wonder, that a profound recoil 
should have, now, taken place, as the full pressure of a Continental 

* From Mrs. Grote's Note-book. Cf. tlie record of it in the MS. Memoir 
of the life of Jenny Lind, Book IV., Ch. VIII. 

1845-1819.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 379 

career broke out upon her ! Who can fail to give intelligible 
meaning to the " conflicts that attend " on such a career ? Who 
can doubt the strain that it would throw on her " nervous 
structure " ? We have seen her temperament, we know its ideal 
cast, its lofty tone, its sacrificial flame, its haughty purity. How 
would it ever endure the fret, and the worry, the fever, and the 
sting, of those petty jealousies, those angry spites, those mean 
competitions which, by some sad fate, seem bound to swarm about 
the green-room of a theatre, and, perhaps with even special fury, 
beset the musical drama ? 

And, then, there is the wretched finance ! This delicate, 
nervous artistic life of the drama is all netted in the meshes 
of ' mercantile speculation. It is being exjploite ; it must be 
made to pay. It is in the hands of those for whom it is a 
remunerative enterprise, a financial concern. Each individual 
gift has its price, each has to come into the market ; each artist 
feels himself the prisoner, or the prey, of some commercial 
transaction. That which should be a temple of art is turned 
into a house of merchandise, even if it escapes becoming a " den 
of thieves." Such a situation is inevitable to the theatrical career. 
But what a bitter warfare for such a one as Jenny Lind to 
find herself waging — she, who held her voice as a boon from 
God, endowing her with a prophetic mission ! What fretful 
disputes ! What weary wranglings ! What pettiness of detail ! 
How she would loathe it ! Every fibre of her frame would 
repudiate these narrow and nasty necessities. Nor was she 
happy in her management of such affairs. As we have seen, in 
the Bunn incident, which was agitating her so profoundly at the 
very moment of her interview with Mrs. Grotc, she was apt to 
hastily rush into a bond ; and, then, at once, to regret it, and, 
perhaps, attempt to undo it. She would consult, and take advice, 
and be persuaded ; and, then, react afterwards, and desert the 
advice which she had accepted. All this was natural enough for 
a young girl driven to fight for her own hand, amid the mob of 
managers, of strange tongues, and peoples, competing for the 
chance of driving a good bargain with her, of reaping a profit 
out of her. It was natural enough for a spiritual genius, beating 
about in unknown waters, tangled in alien winds. How could 
she comprehend the rigidities of business ? But, natural and 
intelligible though it were, it was bound to bring her trouble 

380 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

which might well make her sicken of a career which involved 
matters so odious, and so disturbing.* 

Moreover, she was already tired of the incessant strain involved 
in the very act of performing. She had been hard at it for so 
long. She had known all that its richest successes could bring 
her, ever since childhood : and the uproar of applause could 
throw no deceptive glamour over all the painful and exhausting 
fatigues, that are inevitable in a career which draws so des- 
perately upon the emotional resources, and which must be subject 
to such violent recoils as the drained forces slowly recuperate 

And then, in vivid antithesis to this warfare of a public career, 
there was the hope of tranquillity in Sweden. Here was a most 
forcible factor in the decision. Throughout all that period in 
Oermany, we have heard notes of her home-sickness. Again and 
again, it comes over her, as we have seen, like a veritable illness.f 
She had nothing in her of the Bohemian. At the root of her 
innermost being, lay the domestic instinct — the craving for the 
security of fixed and sure family life. And how lonely, in 
contrast, was that restless pilgrimage over Europe which was the 
normal condition of her theatrical life ! True, she had a wonder- 
ful way of winning admittance, at each city, into some private 
house, where she was surrounded with affection. But yet how 
transitory all such visits must be ! Ever she must hurry on, — 
she and her one companion, to fuliil engagements in this strange 
place and in that ; there was no rest for her feet ; no constant 
refuge into which to retreat. All was in movement ; nothing 
stood still. She was never more than a passing guest. 

As we picture the dismal instability, the arid homelessness of 
such a wandering existence, we can hardly wonder that all the 
splendour of her triumphant career could never expel or stifle in 
her the passionate desire to escape and be at peace, in some 
tranquil harbour amid the home waters — some still and un- 
changing retreat nestling under the familiar pines. 

This deep and passionate longing showed itself, during the 

* Let any one wlio ever knew Jenny Lind, turn to a book such as ' The 
Mapleson Memoirs' (London 1888); let him learn there, in its rollickini^ 
gossip, the characters, the conditions, with which theatrical management 
concerns itself: and his chief wonder will, surely, be how she tolerated 
euch an environment for a single day. 

t Book v., Ch. I., p. 213. 

1845-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE ? 381 

very time of which we are now speaking, in two most remarkable 
letters, already quoted in this work, which will prove how delibe- 
rate her intention had become. In the letter written on November 
24th, 1845, to Madame Erikson, it will be remembered that she 
says : 

"I wonder if I dare let out that next autumn I shall come 
home quite quietly, and settle down, caring nothing for the 
world. You will call this a crime ; but please reflect how 
difficult it is to stand all this roving about, alone, alone, — ever 
to have to rely on my own judgment, and, besides, so absorbed in 
my roles. Oh, it is not easy ! " * 

And to Josephson she wrote on December 1st, 1845, in the 
very thrill of the joyful excitement at her growing powers, and 
at her frequent meetings with Mendelssohn : 

" I have the old home-sickness all the same ! And my only 
wish is to get into quietude away from the stage. And a year 
hence I go home, and remain at home, my friend ! Ah ! how I 
shall enjoy life ! Ah ! peace is the best that there is ! " 

Always the moments of European success are those at which 
this note of home most emphatically occurs. Here, for instance, 
is an illustration — one more added to the many already familiar 
to us. It occurs in a beautiful letter of hers, written from 
London, in June, 1847, to a young friend in Sweden, Miss 
Behrens, now Madame Lamm, who had lived on the opposite 
side of the courtyard, in the Bonde Palace, when Jenny Lind 
lived there with the Lindblads. They used to talk to each other 
by the open windows : and, now. Miss Behrens has sent her a 
drawing of her old window in the courtyard. She writes in 
return, out of the very heart of her London triiunphs : 

"My good kind Faxny, 

" You must not conclude, from my long silence, that I have 
forgotten you. I cannot do that, with any one to whom my 
heart has, at any time, been drawn ; nor could I become cold 
and indifferent towards them. 

* Eook IV., Ch. X., p. 174. 

382 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

" Thanks, my good Fanny, for the dear little drawing you sent 
me. I only wish I could fully express the pleasure it has given 

"It appears to me to be a sacred act to stand in thought 
before that window, where I have stood so often : and to go 
over, in spirit, all that time I lived behind it. For the people 
with whom I lived then (I mean, the Lindblads) are, and will 
remain for ever the dearest to me on earth, and the best objects 
of all my thoughts ! 

" And you will now meet them soon ! 

" How are you, yourself ? Are you still the same child as of 
yore ? With the laughter as then ? And are you conscious of 
your good luck ? Do you know what it means to be ' at 
home ' ? 

" Thank God, I shall now soon come back to it ; for where the 
heart is, there the whole self yearns to be. I am right grateful 
to God for having preserved in my breast this love for my native 
land ; for it might have happened that I never again should 
have wished for Sweden after the heavenly — yes ! the heavenly 
career which I have had. If you knew, Fanny, what a sensation 
of the nearness of a higher power one instinctively feels, when one 
is permitted to contribute to the good of mankind, as I have done, 
and still do ! Believe me, it is a great gift of God's mercy ! 

" I am in excellent health ; and have been so ever since I set 
foot on foreign soil ; and this I look upon as the greatest of 
many gifts. 

" But the paper is coming to an end — so I end also. Farewell, 
until we meet again ! and greet thy parents from yours affection- 

"Jenny Lind." 

" Do you still have the same room ? " 

There is the secret of her heart laid open — its instinctive, its 
solemn, its religious hold on home-affections. This it is which 
does so much to create the passionate desire for withdrawal from 
that sad, lonely pilgrimage, as of a stranger and a sojourner, 
which the Drama necessitates. 

We have sketched the inner temper with which she came to 
her determination. Let us now trace out, by more exact steps, 
the growth of the resolution to act. 

The desire, then, was present in her, during the autumn of 
1845. Already, by December, it had taken a fixed and deliberate 
form. We can pursue it unfailingly after this, point by point. 
Let us follow on its track. 

1845-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE ? 383 

On Jiilj 4tli, 184G, she writes to her dear friend to whom she 
opened her soul so often, Madame AmaHa Wichmann : 

" I am fidly determined, that next summer, or at the very 
latest, next autumn, I will leave the stage. I will meanwhile 
make use of the interval ; and if I could, indeed, get things so 
arranged this spring, it might be wiser to nurse up my powers 
for the approaching winter . . . ." 

Here we have her resolutely scheming how to bring about her 
determination ; she is engaged in fixing the dates. Everything 
is rapidly settling itself in her mind. 

Again, we have already read a letter written on her birthday 
from Frankfort, to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer, which gives exact 
precision to her determination. 

"I am longing to get away from the stage. I think, now, 
that I shall be ready in six months. I cannot do otherwise : it 
is stronger than I." * 

In the November that followed the writing of this letter, it 
would seem that her Berlin friends were alarmed at her resolu- 
tion, and the residt was a letter of strong appeal to her from the 
influential critic of the Voss'che Zeiium/, Herr Rellstab, whose 
high opinion of her we already know. The letter is lost ; but it 
was one that (she confesses) greatly pleased her : and it was, no 
doubt, one which put, in the most forcible and effective manner 
possible, the claim which the world had to enjoy the manifesta- 
tion of dramatic gifts so special and so elevating as her own. 
But in a letter to Madame Wichmann, written on November 
28th, from Carlsruhe, in which she mentions having received 
this appeal from Rellstab, she still says : " For all that, I am 
firm." The considerations, then, so many and so strong, which 
should keep her on the stage, have already been laid before her, 
in as masterful and earnest a form, probably, as they could ever 
be thrown into ; and, yet, though she has weighed them, she is 
not moved. 

On January 20th, 1847, she writes a charming letter from 
Vienna, introducing Schumann and Madame Schumann, in the 

* Cf. Book VI., Ch. I., p. 238. 

384 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

warmest terms, to the favour of the Wichmanns ; * in which she 
ends — 

" Yes ! when shall I see you a^^aiu ! Ah ! how this longing 
for peace grows in me beyond all bounds ! But time flies on 
fast : and, surely, no creature were ever so utterly happy as I, — 
if only I were free ! " 

That longing, that was rising in her beyond all bounds, came, 
we must remember, in the very heart of one of her most bewil- 
dering hours of dramatic glory. The enthusiasm for her at 
Vienna rose even to frenzy. There was nothing that was not 
possible for her, there : everything was at her feet. But, for all 
that, it cannot check her deep desire for peace. 

" Her life was turning, turning", 
In mazes of heat and sound ; 
But for peace her soul was yearning, 
And now, peace laps her round." 

Again from Vienna, on February 13th, came an eager, and 
indignant reassertion of her will. Madame Wichmann has heard 
a rumour that she is meditating an engagement at Paris ; and 
the answer she gets is clear enough : 

" My very dearest ! 

" What is it that has come to you ? / go to Paris ? 
Never, in my life ! Who can have told you this ? And how 
should I ever have bound myself to such a decision, without 
telling you ! . . . . 

"They have, indeed, made me every kind of proposal from 
Paris — ^but not for one second, did I ever think of it ! 

" From off the stage I go ! I have no other want in the 
world than that ! " 

Nothing, then, disturbs her intention. In 1847 it will be 
remembered, how strongly she asserts to Her Majesty, as she 
speaks with her after the private concert at Buckingham Palace, 
her resolution to leave the stage.f Evidently her London 
successes, happy as she was in them, had done nothing to shake 
her resolution. 

In October when, as we know, she was singing at Berhn, it 

* Cf. Book VI., Ch. III. 

t Cf. Book VII., Ch. VIII., p. 295. 

1645-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 385 

was with the clear and general understanding that it was the last 
time of her appearance on the stage there.* 

On November -Ith, Mendelssohn died. How much that meant 
to her, we know already. His purity, his exaltation, his fervour 
thrilled her into high response. And, then, his belief in her was 
a perpetual appeal to her to trust her great gift, to put out all 
its powers, to Hve for her Art, as in holy service. Through him, 
too, she had entered on those higher levels of the Oratorio, into 
which she could pour without hindrance her full spiritual force. 
But we cannot resist asking how this influence of his bore on her 
present intention. In pressing her to the work of Oratorio, was 
he consciously working for her withdrawal from the Opera ? It 
would appear to have been wholly otherwise : for we have 
already seen that he was still, to the very end, possessed with 
the hope that he might achieve an Opera which she could 
interpret. So far was he, then, from fostering her determination 
to abandon the stage, that he had, it would seem, hoped for a 
development of her powers there, in which he might assist. What 
would have been the issue of such an attempt if it had succeeded ? 
"Would it have led further ? No one can say. But, now, he is 
gone : and she looks out, from her old home, towards that Europe 
which is now empty for her of its mightiest presence, of its noblest 
life : and she finds herself strangely calm, — calm with the won- 
derful security and sweetness of home. 

She is surprised, herself, at her own content. The suspicion 
that, after all the brilliant turmoil of Continental glory, it should 
seem tame and poor, disproves itself. She sees opportunities of 
work which will fully occupy her. All this had its effect in deepen- 
ing her resolution, in confirming her desire for peace. And yet, 
the particular work itself which she chiefly " set herself to do," 
was not quite what we might have expected. For was it not the 
endowment of the Theatre School ? And how could this chime 
in with her purpose of leaving the stage ? Here she is, bending 
her mind to the training of others for the career which she was 
herself longing to abandon. She is trying to save poor children 
from her own earlier experiences ; but she is making their road 
smoother towards that life from which her own later experience 
was compelling her to recoil. How did she quite reconcile this 
double-mind ? 

* Cf. Book YIIT., Ch. I., p. 310. 

2 C 

386 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

Probably, tlic changes that came over this her scheme, as she 
worked it out, represent the gradual sense of this cross-purposing. 
But, at any rate, it remains absolutely certain that, at the time 
she purposed to assist the Theatre School, she had no moral 
reproach whatever to make against the drama itself : or against 
the profession of acting. This can have been, in no degree, the 
reason for her own withdrawal. It is important to keep her 
motives clear. She had a profound sense of its dangers — of the 
thorns that beset its roses : but she passes no condemnation on it 

There was, however, another circumstance, besides the interest 
of the Theatre School, Avhich might have been expected to colour, 
to some degree, her decision about the stage. She had, as we 
already know, at the close of this season in Stockholm, become 
engaged to Herr Julius Giinther.* This engagement meant a 
great deal to her. On her return to Loudon, almost immediately 
after the exchange of rings, she spoke of it to Mrs. Grote with 
great enthusiasm ; and, in the Note-book, in its record of a. 
picnic at Wimbledon, Mrs. Grote writes : " Jenny talked with me 
for a whole hour about Giinther." 

But Herr Giinther was the tenor at the Theatre Royal. His 
whole life was cast with the Opera. Such an engagement must, 
at least, have suggested closer ties between herself and the 
theatrical world, which she was so bent on abandoning. And we 
cannot but wonder how such a marriage, if it had taken place, 
would have suited the resolution which it is our main object to 
discuss. The Theatre, and its interests, and its fortunes, would 
have been kept close at hand, encompassing her about with 
constant insistence. But, whatever the external likelihood of 
this, there is no sign that her gladness in the engagement 
produced any wavering in her will. 

She passed through her second brilliant London season with 
the firm conviction that it was to be her last. And happy as that 
season was, there can be little doubt that, deep within her, the 
religious convictions, which her English surroundings fostered 
and developed, were steadily increasing their hold upon her : and, 
as their pressure grew, her repugnance to the theatrical mode of 
life, to the fever and restlessness of the dramatic career, grew 
also, and bred in her a yet deeper longing for the spiritual peac^ 
* Of. Book VIIL, Chapter II. 

1845-1849.] AVHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 387 

of privacy and home. All this would be continually backed by 
the encouragement of her new companion, Mdlle. Ahmansson, by 
whose strong piety she was much impressed, and who would 
always be throwing her influence into the scale against the Opera. 
So it worked : it began to tell deeply upon her thought, and 
feeling, and speech ; and, as it did so, it began to disturb her 
hopes of the future. For it drew her on to ground with which 
Herr Giinther, far away at Stockholm, had no familiarity, or 
sympathy. It is not for us to enter upon such private affairs. 
Enough to say that, throughout this period, the letters that 
passed between them seem to have revealed more and more 
divergence in spirit and in aim : until, by the autmnn, it had 
become clear to both, that a union was becoming less and less pos- 
sible. There was not sufficient harmony between them, as to the 
motives and principles by which life should be directed. And, at 
Dublin, which she reached, in her provincial tour, on October <Sth, 
the crisis came : the engagement was broken off by the consent 
of both. 

Here, then, ended the prospect of a marriage which, though it 
would never have broken her decision to leave the stage, would 
have, at any rate, linked her with its fortunes and surroundings. 
There could be no doubt, now, that when the separation came, it 
would be complete. And, by force of circumstance, it happened 
that the next pressure, which fell upon her from outside, tendecl to 
emphasise the completeness of this proposed separation. It came 
upon her in this fashion. During the provincial tour, recorded in 
Book YIIL, Chap. Y. (p. 338), she went to Newcastle, accompanied 
by 3Irs. Grote ; and stayed there, in the house of Mr. Joseph 
Grote, brother of the historian. Mr. Joseph Grote had a brother- 
in-law staying in the house, a young captain in the Indian army, 
called Claudius Harris, who was, entirely, mastered by the charm 
and the goodness of the wonderful singer, whom he found to be 
so startlingly unlike anything that he had been ever accustomed 
to associate with the stage. He followed her, with the enthusiasm, 
of youth, to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin. But she was touched 
by finding that they had religious interests in common. 

Later on, towards the winter, she was singing at Bath, which, 
was his home : and she took the opportunity of calling upon his 
mother and sister, and of asking after him. He immediately 
rushed there from Mrs. Grote's cottage at Burnham Beeches^ 

388 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

where he was staying : saw her frequently : and, soon after, 
pressed his claim upon her affections. True to her Swedish 
training, she told him as soon as he made his offer, that " he must 
tell his mother ; " and when he said, " Do not be angry with me : 
I have already talked to her about it," she felt the true Swedish 
delight in this recognition of the parent's authority. 

Unluckily, this readiness to consult his mother had its dangers, 
as well as its gains, as she was, afterwards, to find to her 

For he had been brought up in a strict Evangelical system, 
which thrust the stage outside the pale of religion. His mother 
had a strong influence over him ; and to her the drama itself was 
a thing to be condemned and avoided. " She detested," we are 
told, "acting, actors, and actresses." Thus Jenny Lind's 
splendid dramatic powers wore to him, probably, the character of 
perilous temptations, rather than of gifts from God. 

It was on this last point that collision was inevitable. It was 
one thing for her to find the conditions of theatrical life in- 
tolerable ; it was quite another to have the moral rectitude of her 
entire career challenged in any way. And it is most important 
for us, in defining her motive in leaving the stage, to see how her 
happiness in this engagement was gone, so soon as it became clear 
to her that she was asked not merely to abandon her profession, 
but to be ashamed of it. At first, this difference of motive did 
not disclose itself. When she stayed at Norwich, in January, 
1849, she spoke to Mrs. Stanley of the engagement with a quiet 
confidence in the prospect before her. 

"I want a support. I am quite alone," she said, "and just 
when I want help, the finger of God brings me this heart that 
can feel with me about all works of charity, just as I do. I never 
could marry any one who did not think with me about this : I 
should say to him ' Good-bye ! good-bye ! ' " 

" We wish," she said again, " to live quiet and uninterrupted 
somewhere. I want to be near trees ; and water ; and a cathe- 
dral. I am tired, body and soul ; but my soul most I More my 
soul than my body ! We are to be married on the 7th of March " 
(the anniversary of the debut as Agatha). 

She was rejoicing in the feeling that the decision, which had 
been making for years, was now finally sealed. " She was free," 
shcjkept repeating to Mrs. Stanley ; she was never to sing on the 

1845-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 389 

stage again. Yet she was dreading how far she might be worked 
upon to save her old manager, and his people from ruin. 

What had her Norwich friends to advise, aL this crisis of her 
abandonment of the stage ? It has been made absolutely clear, 
by what we have seen, that they had nothing whatever to do with 
initiating her intention. It stood firm, and decisive, long before 
she reached England, or knew them. ]^or had they anything to 
do with bringing it to a head. The crisis with Her Majesty's 
Theatre had already taken a violent stage before they learned it 
from her lips. Their conversation with her, at her earliest visit, 
had all turned on her power to purify the drama by her influence, 
and example. That was her hope. " Voila ce quefespere ! " she 
had exclaimed ; and they had strongly encouraged her in this 
high aim.* It had been all on a different tack, then ; and her 
deep desire to leave the whole career behind sprang from sources 
utterly independent of the Norwich influence. 

But now that the desire has issued in act, now that the 
resolution is taken, no doubt, the weight of the Stanleys' inclina- 
tions would all go to back it. The Bishop had, indeed, bravely- 
broken though the conventional scruples of religious people in 
receiving at his palace, as a friend, one fresh from the boards. 
Mrs. Stanley had a hearty, and intelligent appreciation of Jenny 
Lind's dramatic powers, as she shows by a most sympathetic 
account of her acting in the Sonnamhula. Nevertheless, the old 
EvangeKcal tradition was strong ; it is felt even in the cordial 
records of the intimacy which sprang up between the whole family 
and Jenny Lind. When, then, she confided to them her resolu- 
tion, they could not but sympathise, and approve. Thus, in her 
conflict with Lumley and his protestations, she would have 
behind her the full support of the Stanleys' affectionate friendship. 
So it stood. The situation might seem to be a clear one. 
But, nevertheless, a storm of trouble fell upon her. The storm 
broke through the concerts which were to be her compensation 
to despairing Lumley. 

We have heard already the story of the concerts : how the 
first fell so far short of its expected effect, that she was compelled 
to modify her resolution if she was ever to save Lumley's finances ; 
and how she, in-order to redeem her pledge to him, offered him 
six last performances on the stage. It was this offer, which 
* Cf. Book VIL, Ch. IX. 

390 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

brought to the front the intense repugnance felt to the stage 
itself by Captain Harris and his relations, and she found herself 
forced to choose between her lover's refusal to consent to these 
appearances, and her word given to Lumley. What was she to 

Most providentially, at this critical juncture she suddenly won 
the help of a most wise and resolute adviser. Mr. Nassau Senior, 
the well-known writer, and at that time a Master in Chancery, 
and a close personal friend of Mrs. Grote's, had been asked by 
that lady to put his legal knowledge at the service of Jenny 
Lind, in the anxious matter of marriage settlements. This he 
had already done in the month of February ; and now, on the 
IGth of April, 1849, he found a letter from her, transmitted 
through Mrs. Grote, asking to see him. He went the next day 
to her cottage, and after she had walked up and down the room 
for some time without speaking, she sat down opposite him and 
iixed on him steadfastly for a minute or two " her wonderful grey 
eyes " (as he calls them), and at last asked him if he could stay a 
couple of hours. He stayed ; and she poured out to him the 
whole story— how she was pressed by people who, according to 
her own graphic delineation, "think the theatre a temple of 
Satan, and all the actors priests of the Devil," how they required 
of her " not only to abandon her profession, but to be ashamed 
of it," — "to go down to Bath, among people who care for 
nothing but clergymen and sermons, as a sort of convert or 
penitent." In the meantime "poor Lmnley and my colleagues 
tell me that it is ungrateful in me, after having acquired such 
fame as an actress, to desert the stage as if it were a disgrace ; — • 
that if I do so, then, instead of raising the profession, as I had 
hoped to do, I shall sink it lower, as I shall seem to fly from it 
like a degradation." 

We see, in all this, how the artist, and the woman, were 
battling within her. Here was love brought very near to her ; 
but yet the love clashed Avith every instinct that made her an 
artist. To follow it, was to turn her whole past history, into 
which she had herself thrown such lofty motives, such pure in- 
spirations, such religious elevation, into a reproach, a scandal. 
It would make a breach in the continuity of her life ; it would set 
her at war with herself. No wonder that she cried, " I see that, 
any way, all my happiness is gone for ever," 

1845-1849.] WHY DID SHE LEAVE THE STAGE? 391 

But Mr. Xassau Senior brought to bear upon the situation the 
excellent experience of a wise lawyer. He was absolutely clear 
that, under the circumstances, her first duty was to fulfil her 
engagement to Lumley, and, if Captain Harris treated that as a 
sufficient reason for separation, then to break off the marriage, 
which was bound to be so obviously unsuitable. 

She saw this to be the true course ; and, she, finally, signed a 
letter, addressed to Mr. Senior, begging him to see Mrs. Harris, 
and to tell her that, after consulting her friends, she found that 
they considered her bound, in honour, to her profession, to the 
public, and to Mr. Lumley, to perform for a few nights at the 
Opera ; that, if Mr. Harris considered his principles to be hurt 
or dishonoured by this, — then she could not be responsible for 
the consequences. 

Even this letter did not quite end matters. Captain Harris 
after all persuaded himself to agree to the six performances ; and 
Mr. Senior was called in, not to convey ultimatums, but to draw 
up settlements ; the marriage itself was fixed for ]\Iay IG — by 
special licence. But, then, with the settlements, the old bitter 
question reappeared. Though she was, herself, determined, as 
we well know, to leave the stage for ever, yet her adviser naturally 
refused to make this a legal condition of the settlement. His 
client ought not to be fettered. As a woman with a profession, 
and owning money, she was bound to be left free ; she must be 
given full liberty to use her vocal powers as she thinks fit. There 
could not be an express proviso against her ever acting. And 
moreover, it was also imperative that, apart from the question of 
the stage, she should have full power to make her own engage- 
ments to sing, and complete control over the disposition of her 
own earnings. This, as we know, was a vital matter, according 
to her mind. To her, her earnings were a sacred trust for which 
she was answerable. So her adviser insisted. Captain Harris 
could not agree to this. The freedom demanded for the wife, 
seemed to him " unscriptural." 

Mr. Senior was leaving for Paris on May 10th with Mrs. Grote ; 
but, before going, he earnestly recommended Mdlle. Lind to allow 
no change in the settlements, out of which he had already ex- 
punged every word against which any complaint could l^e made ; 
and he begged her, if all was broken off, to come, without a day's 
delay, straight to Mrs. Grote at Paris, where she would find 

392 JEXNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. i. 

counsel and comfort, without which, in her loneUness, she could 
not stand. 

Off to Paris, to Maison Fenci, in the Champs Elysees, he went 
with Mrs. Grote, to await anxiously the issue. Letters arrived on 
the 13th, the 14th, and the loth, which, though full of fluctua- 
tions, and uncertainties, spoke of negotiations, conducted by Mrs. 
Stanley, which ended in a mutual release of both from the 

But, even now, would she be firm in her promise to leave 
London, and come to Paris ? Anyhow, a room was got ready ; 
and, on the IGth itself, at about seven in the evening, when Mrs. 
Grote was sitting, with a headache, over the fire, there was a tap 
at the door, and in came Jenny Lind. 

She had got her passport the moment after her decision had 
been taken, and had come as fast as steam could carry her. She 
was free ; and free in a manner honourable to both. She seemed 
to pant chiefly for rest ; she felt tired " to her very bones." 

* For our account of this affair, we are greatly indebted to a private 
record made by Mr. Senior, -which the kindness of his daughter, Mrs. Simpson, 
has allowed us to see and use. 

( 303 ) 



AVe have, uow, reached the date at which we broke off the story 
of our heroine, after her farewell to the Opera, while we paused to 
recall her social intimacies in England, and, then, to recover the 
thread of those inward motives, which led, from far back in her 
life, to her final act in abandoning the stage. We are, now, in 
full possession of her mind and can set out, once again, with her, 
on the path along which her career, for the future, carries her. It 
is needless to enter upon the inward troubles that necessarily 
followed the severe crisis through which she has passed. 
Gradually her old self stole back to her. She began to delight in 
the scenery of Paris, which, in May, is enchanting. She had 
long walks in the Tuileries, and drives in the Bois de Boulogne ; 
and " could have listened for hours," -writes Mr. Senior, " to the 
nightingales. She has paid great attention to the habits of 
singing-birds, and told us stories of their shyness and coquetry 
and of the manner in which she used to get them to sing by 
pretending not to attend to them." * She called on Meyerbeer ; 
she gave a musical lesson every morning to a Swedish girl. Miss 

She sang for an hour at the piano, at a five o'clock tea, ending 
with the farewell song in the Vestale. "You have sometimes 
asked me which is my best part — it is the Vestale,'" she said to 
Mr. Senior. She went to the Frophete, but got quickly tired of 
it, and came home after the second act. She sang one evening at 
the house of the Swedish minister, exciting, according to Mrs. 
Grote's diary, " the most extravagant admiration." 

Altogether, she found herself enjoying the blessed sense of 
freedom from anxiety and the hurry of work, and was beginning 
to welcome the many experiences which Paris could give. But, 

* From private record of Mr. Nassau Senior. 

394 JENNY LINI). [bk. ix. ch. ii. 

suddenly, in June, a sad event threw her into grief. She had met 
Madame Catalani, and had sung to her in a way that delighted 
that renowned singer ; * but, on Mrs. Grote calHng to leave cards, 
before their departure from Paris, Madame Catalani was found to 
be dead, stricken suddenly of cholera. Mdlle. Lind was 
profoundly distressed ; the shock quite unnerved her ; she could 
not rest until they had all got away from Paris, and its horrible 

It was thus that the whole party fled to Amiens, including her 
guardian. Judge Munthe, who had come from Stockholm to 
consult and advise. With him she continued her journey through 
Brussels to Cologne. And here a crisis occurred, which she shall 
tell in her own words. They were written in a long letter, to 
Madame Wichmann, from Schlangenbad, July 11, which shall be 
given almost entire ; for it reviews the whole matter which we 
have been following out, and it reveals her inner feelings and 
convictions after all that she had gone through. It begins by 
many apologies for not writing before. 

" Eeally I could write volumes ! But it is just this which 
makes writing, to me, so detestable — that, in reality, one can 
convey so little by it ! I have lately gone through much, my 
dearest Amalia, and should like to recount it to you from my 
innermost heart ; but not to put it all down on paper .... 
Things and experiences approached me which deeply affected my 
peace of mind. Everything in my innermost heart remained 
undecided for a long time. I did not know what to write. I was 
very near to marrying. But again it came to nothing ; and I 
believe this w^as the best, for there were things that did not 
please me, and I should probably not have been made 

" Oh dear ! I am once more myself : and I feel that I have 
many other duties, and great duties, to fulfil towards others — 
though the finest, the most sacred of all — I mean, a mother's love, 
is forbidden — nay ! denied to me ! 

" I could have wished for this feeling : for it would have given 
me the resting-place, of which I stand in need : and where, I 
fancy, I could have achieved something good, owing to the varied 
experiences, which through hfe I have gained already. 

" But dearest soul ! I am happy all the same ! Inexpressibly 
happy : for have I not been favoured by fate with much more 
than I deserve, such as is vouchsafed to few here on earth ! . . . . 
* See Lum ley's ' Eemiuisccnces,' 1864, Chap. XVII. 


" I left London for Puris, where I tumbled into the most 
fearful cholera epidemic. Thither my dear guardian came, in 
order that I might have a trusty soul al)out me. Then on June 
13th we went to Brussels, and from there to Cologne, and have 
looked at the Rhine. Old father Ehine ! how glorious it is, and 
ever will be ! Well, I had meanwhile sent my Swedish lady to 
London to pack up ; and to have my things sent to Sweden. But 
one day I went to see a renowned doctor at Coblentz, to consult 
him about my shattered nerves. He examined my head, and also 
my heart (which are, both, terribly fatigued), and then told me 
that, unless I nursed myself properly now, I should be liable to 
break down completely when I took up work again. He has 
utterly forbidden me to sing for six or eight months : and has 
sent me here for a fortnight, in preparation for four weeks at 
Ems. After Ems I am free until after October. But I wish to 
spend next winter in Sweden, where I have many matters to 

" Dear, kind, Amalia ! could not we meet somewhere ? Are 
you not in need of Ems ? Could we not go to Switzerland ? 
.... or shall I come to Berlin or will you come to Ems ? or 
are we not to meet at all ? ? ? ? I have just received a letter 
from London, confirming the news of reappear- 
ance ! I am much surprised at this. May a gracious G-od 
preserve me from such a calamity as to come before the public 
as an old lady ! Rather bread and water ! "While in Paris, I 
saw Meyerbeer, and his new opera. I was glad to see him again, 
for he has always been very good to me : but I prefer his earlier 

" Will you please remember me to old Frau Beer ? And how 
is dear Professor Werder ? Has he completely forgotten me ? 
And old Fran Schroeder ? " (the porter's wife at the Wiclimanns' 
house). " I love a person like that immensely ! I know nothing- 
more beautiful than such a faithful old being, going about in a 
family, who really lives only in taking interest in what concerns 
her master's family, and in feeling for them and with them ! 
Greet this dear old soul ; and also good Nanke : and Frederic 
(the man-servant). It was my happiest time when I saw all this 
daily before me ! If I send no greetings to my Professor, or my 
beloved brothers, it is because it goes without saying. Every- 
thing that I have written here to you, is meant also for the father 
and his sons. God protect you all ! 

"Send a friendly answer, and then I shall know that you 
never could have doubted that I remain for ever and ever, 

" Your faithful, and sincerely loving, 

"Jenxy Lixd." 

396 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. n. 

The doubt that she refers to, arose from the long silence, for 
'which the early part of the letter overwhelmingly apologises — an 
apology that has very frequently to be repeated in the course of 
Jenny Lind's correspondence. 

The doctor's verdict shows how merciful it was that she had 
not had the strain of another opera season in London laid upon 
her. The fatigue of the shattered nerves may, no doubt, have 
been partly due to the agonies of the conflict with Lumley, and 
of the decision in the matter of her marriage. But, still, the tired 
heart and tired head, of which she spoke at Norwich, were evi- 
dently no fancy of her own, but very serious facts. She had 
been hard at work for so many years : and was now thoroughly 

On July 14th she "WTote to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer one of the 
confidential outpourings, which tell so much. In it, she says — 

" What do you say of my having left the stage ? I cannot tell 
you in words how happy I feel about it. I shall sing in concerts 
so long as I have a voice ; but that only gives me pleasure ; and 
in this way I shall be able to work at least five years longer ; and 
that is necessary for me, as, for the last twelve months, I have 
sung only for institutions and charities. Without a beautiful 
goal, one cannot endure life. At least, / cannot. I have begun 
to sing what has long been the wish of my heart — Oratorio. 
There I can sing the music I love ; and the words make me feel 
a better being. See ! dear mother ! my career, in the future, 
will take this direction ; and my favourite idea be realised." 

Prom Schlangenbad she \^Tote to Madame Mendelssohn, appa- 
rently for the first time since his death. And soon after this 
letter, she paid her a visit at Creuznach on the Ehine : and 
another affectionate letter followed the visit : so that her long 
silence, since the death, was entirely explained, and the old 
memories came to a kind and satisfying close. She hoped still to 
work on behalf of the Mendelssohn scholarships. 

To Ems, for the present, she went from Schlangenbad : and, 
according to reports that reached Mrs. Grote, appeared soon to be 
in excellent health and in high spirits, enjoying a dance whenever 
opportunity offered. It was from Ems, on the 8th of August, 
that she wrote a long letter again to Madame Birch-Pfeiffer full 
of the deepest personal interest. In it, she discloses her own 


interpretation of the strange animation that had followed on her 
exhausting struggles. Here are some extracts : — • 

" Dearest Mother B. ! 

" You ask me, ' Are you, then, going to be married ? ' I 
answer, ' Xo ! never ! ' I have, indeed, greatly wished for it, for 
few have more strongly than I, the real inner feeling of a wife : 
and a deep hicssing it would have been to me to have called a 
child ' my own.' And I had got very, very near to it lately in 
England, my dear mother ! but " 

And, then, she tells how many things told against it — how the 
young man was too young, and too gentle ; and how his mother 
was impossible : and how her whole art was a shut book to him : 
and yet how he touched her just because he embodied the English 
character, with its religious purity : " Ah ! dear mother, I love 
with my whole soul the English character ! " But it has ended ; 
they have parted, and, now, it seems to her as if ;the affair had 
done her good, rather than harm : 

" It has passed over my soul like a beneficent storm which has 
broken down all the hard shell of my being, and has set free 
many green plants to find their way to the dear sun ! 80 that, 
now I am always clothed in green like the fairest hope I And I 
see quite clearly how infinitely much there is for me to do with 
my life ; and I have only one prayer, that I may yet live long, 
and that, in the evening of my life, I may be able to show a pure 
soul to God. 

" I am going quietly back to Sweden for next winter, to take 
fresh measures on behalf of my school, and to wed 'myself wholly 
to well-doing, for which I am, finally, born, since it is the sense 
of man's worth which has ever drawn me most strongly, and has 
most richly filled my soul ; and, if only I can come at all near 
my aims in this, then no one is more to be envied than I ! 

" You see, my future lies clear in front of me, my dear friend 
and mother ! " 

She igoes on to ask, with devoted affection, for news of Minni 
(Madame Birch-Pfeiffer's daughter, who has kindly furnished us 
with this and other letters), to whom she pledges herself in life- 
long sisterhood. And, at the end, she closes thus — 

" Mother, I am glad and grateful from morning to night ! I 
do not feel lonely : and have no trace of ennui : and only find 

398 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. it. 

the days fly by too horribly quick. I have a bhtheness in my 
soul, which strains towards heaven ! I am hke a bird ; I do not 
feel the least chang-ed, quite the contrary ; and the ' summa 
summarum ' is that I have won the greatest profit out of both 
outer and inner misfortune ; and can thank God that I know 
w'hat trouble is ! xVll makes at last for good ! God does not die, 
dear mother." 

Her doctor, then, advised a graioe-cure, at Meran in Tyrol, to 
complete her recovery : and thither she sets herself to draw the 
Wichmanns, proposing all sorts of ways by which they might all 
meet there. " You must not put yourselves out, dearest," she 
writes to Madame Wichmann ; " but it would be delicious if you 
did resolve to come to Meran." She proposes to be there from 
the middle of September to the middle of October. And, finally, 
they did all settle together at Ober-Mais, a village just above 
Meran. Thither offers pursued her, as we learn from a letter of 
Herr Biittner, a Frankfort merchant who kindly looked after her 
many affairs in South Germany, to Herr Munthe, her guardian. 

" Mdlle. Jenny Lind has safely arrived at Meran, and is well 
and happy there. From everijwhere they try to get our dear 
friend. A very big offer has come from England, higher than 
ever, and with every sort of guarantee. Last week an American 
has gone from here to Meran in order to induce her to go to New 
York. Well ! such an artist has never before existed ! May 
heaven grant her good health and inward contentment ! " . 

This was not the first time that America had crossed her mind. 
Already on the IStli of June, while in Paris, in a letter to Madame 
Schwabe, she begs her to ask Mr. Schwabe what his views would 
be on the possibility of her giving concerts in America. But 
nothing yet is settled. The whole party returned together in 
October, by way of Yoralberg to Frankfort ; and, after parting 
there with her dear friends, she was taken from Frankfort to 
Hamburg, where she was to sing in some concerts. She wrote 
touchingly from there of the joy she had had in the intimacy of 
the Wichmanns during the stay at Meran together. The letter is 
dated October 29th. 

" My own dearest Amalia — 

"... I was greatly overcome when you all were gone ! 
I am, certainly, accustomed to be alone ; but I knit myself too 


quickly to people -whoin I love, and cannot, then, believe that I 
ninst lose them again ! I had got so used to enjoying the happi- 
ness of being in your helpful companionship, and of seeing your 
domestic love, that I was sad indeed for the whole of Sunday I 
You dear good people ! To think that you should permit me to 
be a partner in your happiness ! You cannot think how grateful 
I am for all this, dearest ! " 

At Hamburg, a summons came to her, through the "Wichmanns, 
from the King of Prussia, Frederick William IV., who had made 
her his Chamber-singer in 1847,* that she should come to Berlin, 
and sing to him and the Queen, on the Queen's birthday. Her 
loyal soul was touched by the message ; she wi'ote back to Madame 
"Wichmann, with kindled feeling : — • 

" How deeply your letter went home to me, I cannot really tell 
you ! It cannot but move my very heart to think that His 
Majesty the King should be so gracious to me, and I shall 
account it the greatest joy if I can succeed in giving even the 
slightest pleasure to the Queen by my singing. . . . Pray tell 
Count Redern (through whom the request came) that I gladly 
obey the King's desire, and will be in Berlin by the 19th of this 
month (November). 

" Ah ! dear Amalia (so she closes her letter) I long after you 
all I It remains true that it is with you, and yours, that I have 
spent the happiest days in my life ! " 

She sang in several concerts, during this November and 
December in Hamburg ; and one of these, with full orchestra, in 
the " Grosse Tonhalle " on November 22nd was given by Mr. 
Otto Goldschmidt, of whom she saw a good deal at this time. 
They did much music together. He played, and she sang ; the 
memory of ^lendelssohn was a strong common bond between 
them. Mr. Goldschmidt began to persuade her to sing again those 
songs of Mendelssohn's which, for two years, she had found it 
impossible for her to touch. He was charged with the musical 
spirit of his great master : and she recognised this. It was at 
this time that she received so distinct an impression of his gifts, 
that it was of him she first thought when, two years later, on her 
American torn', she found herself in want of one who could make 
up for the loss of Julius Benedict. So this visit to Hamburg was 
quietly " making history " for her after-life. 
* See Book YIII., chap. I. 

400 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix, ch. ii- 

When the day of departure drew near, she was amused and 
dehghted to find an express messenger sent by the royal authority 
to convey her to Berhn in the shape of W. Tauhert, the dis- 
tinguished Hof-Capehmeister, who had always been most friendly 
to her, and in whom she greatly delighted. " I cannot help 
laughing with joy when I think of seeing that dear man Taubert 
to-morrow. I confess that it gives me huge pleasure ! " So she 
wrote to " Amalia." 

To Berlin she came, under these happy conditions, staying in 
the beloved house of the Wichmanns : and singing before King 
and Queen. 

In the meantime, another King was pressing her hard to 
reverse her deep-seated decision, and to feel once again the boards 
under her feet. The pressure came in a form that would touch 
her profoundly. It was an appeal from her own King, Oscar I. 
of Sweden, to give a lift to her old home, the Eoyal Theatre at 
Stockholm, at the time of the festivities that were to be held, in 
the spring of 1850, on the occasion of the marriage of the Crown 
Prince Charles, afterwards King Charles XY. She was Court 
Singer ; and in the service, therefore, of the King. And more- 
over, the appeal was transmitted through her old master Herr 
Berg, who had come across from Sweden, in November, on this 
mission, to meet her at Hamburg. The strength of her deter- 
mination could not be more severely tested. Her innate loyalty, 
patriarchal in its simplicity, her home affections, her patriotism, 
her devotion to her old master, her deep instincts of obedience to 
authority — all radical elements woven into the very fibre of her 
character — must have all conspired to move her. Yet there is no 
record or sign of her having wavered for even a moment. We 
do not know that she consulted her friends. Her indecision, at 
momentous crises, was apt to betray her into many fluctuations, 
and to leave numerous traces behind it. But, on this occasion, 
there is not a note. We only know that Herr Berg was powerless. 
He had to retire, sailing home again from Ltibeck on the 7th of 
December, whither she courteously escorted him herself. A 
kindly letter, written on December 25th, in autograph, from the 
King closed the attempt : — 

" The Court-singer Berg has, on his return, informed me of the 
willingness with which you, Froken Lind, have declared yourself 


ready to appear, next year, at several concerts, in order that by 
your brilliant talent, you may render powerful assistance to our 
theatre. I recognise, in this, a fresh proof of Froken Lind's 
patriotic feelings, and of her warm sympathy with the advance- 
ment of Swedish Lyric Art ; and I consider it a pleasant duty to 
express how keenly I appreciate this decision which is as dis- 
interested as it is admnable. I look forward to seeing Froken 
Lind amongst us again - next spring, and remain with sincere 

" Yours graciously, 

" Oscar." 

It is, indeed, a gracious letter, for the little word "Lyric," 
which occurs in it, is the signal that the original request, that she 
should allow herself to recur to the Opera, had not been con- 
ceded. Not King nor Country could induce her to reverse a 
conviction which had gone down to the roots of her being. 

2 D 

402 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. m. 



LiJBECK, to which she had gone to accompanj Herr Berg home- 
wards, was to hold her yet awhile ; and was to be the scene of 
that momentous decision which is to form the close of these 
volumes. She wrote, during her stay there, letters which carry 
with them much of her innermost mind. Altogether, it is a 
marked spot in her story. 

She seems to have been delayed there by an accident. 

"Dearest Amalia," she wrote on the day of Herr Berg's 
departure, " I write with no very bright spirits to you, for I have 
no chance of seeing you and yours again so soon as I had hoped. 
My good Josephina has fallen ill. It is nothing dangerous, thank 
God ! on the contrary, the doctor thinks that, after it is over, she 
may be better than she was before. 

" But you will understand well enough, that I cannot, and will 
not leave her. So that I shall not be able to be with you, my 
dear ones, by Christmas Eve, but must wait for the New Year, to 
knock at your door. . . . Ah ! wiite me some few words, before 
that, dearest, and say that you are still good to me, and how it 
goes with them all. 

" Your grateful, and loving 

" J. L." 

There she stayed : and, from there, just at this same moment, 
she wrote a long, and personal letter to her old friends, of whom 
we have heard before, — Baroness French and her daughter. She 
had suddenly had a letter from them, and this reminded her of 
her long silence ; and her heart is touched : and she offers eager 
and characteristic apologies. 

We leave her English just as she wrote it, because she herself 
apologises for its " funny " style, in the letter, and it will serve to 
show what was her command over the language at that time. The 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 403 

sentence on Madame Catalan! shows how deeply that swift death 
had impressed her : — 

" Liibcck, the Gth of December, 1849. 

*'My dear Mada^i, 

" I wish you really could see how pleased I am to receive 
a few kind words from you and Miss Georgina. Accept my very 
best thank for the last letter. I must confess that I have safely 
got the one you were so kind to write me when I was at Ems. I 
was for a long time so very low-spirited. Madame Catalani stood 
always before my eyes, and her smiling face does still follow me 
very often. I thank you a thousand times, my dear Baroness, 
that you still remember me so very kindly, although I have not 
given you any sign of life since long ago. I have long wished to 
write you a few words, but I had dropped your address at London, 
and did not know whether you were to return to that place or not. 
I very often think of my dear Miss Georgina, who I really love a 
great deal ! I hope that l^lessed sweet young lady is in perfect 
health. I wished very much to have the happiness of seeing you 
and your daughter very soon again, my dear Madam, but I have 
no idea of going to England at present. You are very kind in 
asking about my head and health — I feel myself rather stronger, 
my head is very naughty at some times, but seldom to the hhjhest 
degree. My nerves are better, and I feel much less agitated and 
more quiet than before. I believe that my having left the stage 
may be the chief reason for this happy change ; my whole 
nature and my way of feeling was always very opposite to that 
sort of being, who can bear the calumnies of a theatrical life. Can 
you understand my 'Jfunny ' English, dear Madam ? 

" My good Miss Ahmansson, who is such a valuable and solid 
friend to me, is not at all well ! She is ill at this moment — she 
has got a sort of low ' fievre ' Avith small red (rouge) spots over her 
body (excuse my bad English, I don't know how to express myself 
in this medical case). It is nothing dangerous, but we are kept 
up in this little place for four weeks ; and, it is really a good 
thing, that I don't much care for the world and its amusements ; 
for I should, if the case was contrary, feel rather lonely and 
tiresome ; but so, I am happy with my music, my little dog — my 
books — my study — and the great number of sublime remembrances. 
We intend to go from here to Berlin, as soon as Miss Ahmansson 
will recover ; we remain in Berlin a few weeks, I should think, and 
and then we probably go to Kussia ; I must try to get money ; I 
wonder how I will like that part of the world, and how that part 
of the world will like such a thing as myself ! In the month of 
May I return to Sweden, as I suppose, only for a short time, 

2 D 2 

404 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

because my doctor will most likely get me to Ems once again ! I 
have snng (chante) a few times, and my voice is grown stronger 
and better. 

" I hope now, my dear Baroness, you have got plenty of news 
from me ! Will you kindly forgive my so much speaking of 
myself — but I do this only to persons I love and respect. Take 
not away your kindness and friendship towards me, dear respected 
Madam, I entreat you ; and be assured that I think of you, and 
remember you with true and sincere affection ! My sister-love, 
and sister-blessing to Miss Georgina. Send me, sometimes, a few 
words which tell me about your health, and happiness ; for such 
kindness my heart will always feel thankful ! 
" I am, 

" Dear Madam, 

" Your most affectionate, 

" J. LiND." 

" Little Beauty (her King Charles dog) is quite well ! " 

This letter is full of her most instinctive feelings. There is the 
old hunger to be assured, by visible token, that affections for her 
are still strong, with the haunting fear lest they should have ceased 
in absence ; while, after all, it turns out that she herself, whether 
through lack of time, or possibly, through a dim sense of vague 
distrust, fails and forgets to keep communication constant. 

Then, again, how noticeable is her sense of peace in having left 
the agitations of the stage behind her ! It is her old familiar 
manner of expressing her repugnance, such as we saw it at the 
first, when she opened her heart to Mrs. Grote. It is not the 
Drama as such on which she passes judgment. But " the 
calumnies " — the warfare, the strain, the anxiety — which the 
career involved — these are wholly opposite to her nature. She 
cannot bring herself to contemplate a return under their yoke. 
So she remains very happy, with her music, her little dog, her 
books, and her store of splendid memories. 

But she needs money — not for herself, but for her great scheme 
of home charity. It is for this that she is contemplating Russia. 
What the overtures made to her on this matter were, she does not 
say ; but, as we shall see, the Russian trip is, very soon, to be 
discarded in favour of a new proposal from the West. She writes^ 
on January 8th, from Liibeck, to Madame Wichmann : — 

"I am not to go to Russia after all, for Russia is thrown into 

r849-1850.] LUBECK. 405 

the background by another big plan. But I shall cmne to you as 
was planned at first, though it be for only a short time." 

The " other plan " is indeed a big one. It is the great American 
tour. Through the person of his agent, Mr. J. H. Wilton, who 
has planted himself at her side, Mr. Barnum has come into action, 
and is pressing his trip with the decision, the vigour, the imagina- 
tion, the practical confidence which he knows so well how to 
throw into a scheme. 

We remember how the idea of America had floated before her 
ever since she left London ; and tentative American gentlemen 
had hovered about her, in her Meran retreat. But there is 
nothing floating, nothing tentative, in Mr. Barnum's conception 
of what is to be done. He sees, and knows, exactly what it is 
which can be achieved. He is absolutely resolute ; he has complete 
command of resources : he is ready to give the most positive 
pledges, and his offer is not only generous — it is magnificent. 
Everything that she has dreamed of, will be possible to her, if she 
is free to apply to her schemes on behalf of poor children the 
splendid fruits which Mr. Barnum is prepared, confidently, and 
without reserve, to promise her. Three days later than his last 
letter, she writes to say that the thing is done ; — the contract is 
signed. It was the largest contract, probably, that had then ever 
been made for such a purpose ; and had about it the stamp of 
that boldness which is so characteristic of its American author, 
who was the first to perceive the new and immense scale on which 
the world's amusements could be carried out, now that steam, by 
sea and land, had knit the vast population of the wide earth 
together into one mass, which could be dealt with as a single 
whole. This is why Mr. Barnum's name is noticeable. He has 
gone high and low, in his actual range ; he has sometimes 
brought near to man a splendid gift like this voice of Jenny 
Lind ; he has, at others, dropped to providing them with food for 
the stupid gaze of mere blind wonder. But, always, he has 
understood the condition of his day. Always, he has seen that 
the same resources which have made the face of the earth a single 
market, can be turned to the purpose of making it also a single 
fair. Just as each of us now draws upon the whole world for 
food, so each of us may draw upon the whole world for joy. The 
railways, that hurry up to us the one, can equally convey the 
other. And as this new fact enlars^es the scale of the world's 

40 G JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

market, so it will enlarge the scale of the world's fair. Enormous 
accumulations of population, and wealth, all united under the 
network of a world-wide commerce, can all be touched, at one 
time, by a single pleasure. Amusements, therefore, can noAV be 
universal, popular, democratic. They need no longer be confined 
to the few^ who can afford to pay high for them, paying higher 
because they are few : for they can appeal, now, to a far larger 
purse than the wealthiest clique could ever possess — the deep purse 
of the multitudes upon multitudes, who, through minute sub- 
division of the general expense, can be cheaply brought together 
to taste enjoyment. The American tour of Jenny Lind was one 
of the very earliest manifestations of this modern characteristic. 

To this contract Jenny Lind engaged herself, while seated 
alone, in the Hotel du Nord, Liibeck, with no one but Mdlle» 
Ahmansson. She was accustomed to mistrust her own judgment, 
and to take much counsel ; but, here, she seems to act with free 
decision. No doubt, she was in communication with Herr 
Munthe, her guardian;; from Liibeck letters passed easily to 
Stockholm. But she herself carried on the necessary corre- 
spondence, putting herself, by the help of Mr. Benedict, into 
communication with Mr. Bates, of the firm of Baring Brothers, 
London, from whom she obtained assurances of Mr. Barnum's 
stability and j^osition. Belletti, too, w^as in London at the time, 
and both to him, and to Benedict, she wrote constantly, as the 
negotiations went on. 

Here is the contract itself, in its chief points. It is preceded 
by a letter from Mr. Barnum to his agent, authorising him to 
enter into the engagement with Miss Jenny Lind, including also 
a " tenor and a pianist." For the pianist, Julius Benedict was 
secured, the musician so well known to all in England ; instead 
of " the tenor," she herself ^oleaded for, and obtained, the help of 
her old helpmate, and counsellor, Giovanni Belletti, the famous 
baritone, who had been one of the first, in quite old days, to 
inspire her with a sense of what a high artistic style might mean. 

The contract is made between J. H. Wilton, as agent for 
Phineas Barnum as the one party, and Froken Jenny Lind, as 
the other. In it, she agrees to sing at one hundred and fifty 
concerts, including Oratorios, within the space of one year, if 
possible, or eighteen months, counting from the day of her 
arrival in New York ; the concerts are to be given in the United 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 407 

States and Havanuali. She is to have full power regarding the 
number of evenings or concerts in each week, at which she would 
sing, as well as over the number of pieces sung by her ; only that 
the concerts were not to be less than two a week, nor the pieces 
sung less than four. All was to be regulated in accordance with 
the preservation of her health, and voice. There is an express 
stipulation that she shall in no case have to appear in Opera. 

In consideration of these services, she is to have all expenses 
paid for journeys and hotels, both for herself and for a lady 
companion and a secretary ; besides this, she is to be allowed a 
maid and a servant at her own disposal, and a carriage and pan- ; 
and £200 (or lOOU dollars) for every concert or oratorio in 
which she sings. 

•'A guarantee for all this is to be deposited with Baring 
Brothei-s, in London, before her departure." 

There is a special and noticeable stipulation, that Jenny Lind 
shall " have perfect freedom whenever she feels inclined," to sing 
for charitable purposes, independently of her present engagement ; 
only she is to consult him as to times, and places, " with regard 
to their reciprocal convenience " ; and in no place, may she so 
sing, until after two concerts have been given there under her 
engagement to him. The remaining stipulations are of the 
usual type. Finally, she is pledged to start for America from 
Liverpool by the last steamer in August, or the first in September, 

So it runs ; and it is signed and sealed, by the two parties, on 
January 9, 1850, in the presence of the Consul for Sweden and 
Norway, Mr. C. A. Xolting. 

On the basis of this contract, she sailed for America ; but two 
days after her arrival at Xew York Mr. Barnum, on his oivn 
initiative, tore it up in her presence, and proposed to her a new 
form of it, with several amendments made to meet her wishes. 
Her astonishment and delight at this generous treatment are 
recorded in Barnum's 'Autobiography,' p. 109 ; * and Mr. Frith, 
in his memoirs,! has told his memory of her own version of it, 
given him at a dinner-party where he met her. The chief 
alterations were (1), a half share of profits whenever the receipts 

* Authorised edition, Buffalo, 1889. 

t Cf. Frith's ' Autobiography and Eeminiseences.' Sec. Ed. 1887, vol. ii. 
p. 318. 

408 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

of ii concert were above 5,500 dollars ; (2), a careful stipulation 
in view of the American climate not suiting her voice ; and (3) 
her right to give up after sixty concerts — or again after one 
hundred concerts, with fixed penalties in either case. 

Of this last right, she availed herself at the close of the ninety- 
third concert. Mr. Barnum himself wrote to her, proposing to 
relinquish the remaining seven concerts, which would complete 
the full hundred. They parted the best of friends ; and she, 
then, gave forty more concerts on her own speculation, i.e., 
nineteen during the month of June and July, 1851, in New 
England, and twenty-one more during October, November, and 
December, in Canada, Illinois, &c., winding-up with Boston and 
Philadelphia, at which town she sang, on December 13th, the last 
concert that she ever gave under her maiden name of Jenny Lind. 

Such was the general issue of this Liibeck contract. The offer, 
made and secured, was certainly magnificent, and it may be well 
here to recall the motives with which she accepted, and fulfilled 
it. None of it was intended to be taken for any personal use. 
She was set on other aims — above all, on her endowment of a 
hospital for poor children. She carried out her intention with 
care and fidelity. Apart from the concerts on behalf of special 
charities, and apart from her own endless gifts to charitable 
purposes during the royal progress through the States, the entire 
sum gained Avas thrown into a " private or separate fund," which 
was kept clear and distinct to the end of her life, and was finally 
left by her will, to be administered by trustees, for certain 
definite purposes. Only twice did she ever consent, in after 
years, to dip into the capital for her own benefit ; in the first 
case, it was for the sake of a small purchase of land, the value of 
which could- be realized and was, as a fact, returned to the fund. 
In the second instance she bought the cottage with its plot of 
mountain land on the Malvern Hills, at which she spent such 
happy holidays during the last few years of her life, in which she 
died. The purposes laid down by her will, for the final dis- 
tribution of the fund, which in its original form stood at about 
£20,000, include a sum of 50,000 Swedish crowns to the 
University of Upsala and another equal sum to the University 
of Lund.* These moneys are to take the shape of scholarships 

* To neither foundation did she give her own name. That at Upsala 
was named after Geijer, that at Lund after Bp. Tegner. 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 400 

to poor students under a scheme passed by her trustees. The 
balance of the fund, after the various deductions, to which it was 
liable before and after her death, have been discharged, will go to 
a Children's Hospital at Stockholm, of which she so often has 

The interest of the fund, during her life, was largely pledged 
to the innumerable pensions for which she made herself respon- 
sible, in her native land. 

We must, however, go back, from these afteruotes, to the hotel 

at Llibeck. There she remained, after the contract was settled, 

apparently with great contentment. She saw her way, now, 

ahead for the next two years ; she had full proof that the 

abandonment of the drama would not cub her off from adequate 

opportunities of exercising her art. X career was assured her, in 

the concert-room, which would fulfil all her aims, both as an 

artist, to enrich the world by her splendid gifts, and, as a woman, to 

endow the poor by her generosity. She might look forward, with 

security, and peace. Nothing which she valued was lost, as she 

felt ; while much that she detested, had been thrown aside. She 

records her satisfaction to Madame AYichmann in a letter written 

on January I2th : — 

<' Hotel du Nord, Lubeck. 
" January 12, 1850. 

" Beloved Aiialia ! 

(First page entirely personal.) 
* * * * "I now wish to give you a clear idea 
of my future plans, so that you — and all yours — may know the 
truth and be able to distinguish' the facts from mere reports. 

" I have decided to go to America. The offer from there was 
very brilliant, and everything was arranged so nicely, that I 
would have been wrong in declining it ; and since I have no 
greater wish than to make much money in order to found schools 
in Sweden, I cannot help looking upon this journey to America 
as a gracious answer to my prayer to Heaven ! 

" I shall be able to gain there in the course of one or two years 
a very large fortune, and, after three years, should not require to 
sing a note unless I wished to do so. My heart resisted my 
going to England at the present time : and indeed it is heavily 
weighted and I often have a hard time of it ; now I need not 
think of England and I feel quite relieved, since three days ago 
I signed the contract. Herr Benedict (son of the M. Benedict you 
saw at Meran) comes with me, and you could not meet with a 

410 JENXY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

more honourable man or better friend, and at the same time with 
a more reliable musician. An old friend of mine, Signor Belletti, 
goes also. He is a distinguished singer, and we have known one 
another from old times in Sweden, for the last twelve years. In 
short, nothing could have been arranged more admirably. I 
gave over at once any plans as to Eussia, and did so gladly ; for 
Josephine could not have stood a Russian journey .... So now 
we remain — and more particularly Josephine — here in Lubeck 
until we take the first steamer leaving for Stockholm, which I 
hope will be in April. Then I go home — sing there a few times 
in concerts (as I have promised my King to do), make arrange- 
ments in view of my long absence from Sweden, and leave 
Stockholm again the last day of June or the beginning of July, 
in order to go through a ' Milch Kur ' somewhere (only not too 
far away). This I must have concluded by the middle of 
August in order to leave for Liverpool, there to take the steamer 
for America the first days of September ! It would be something 
soothing and strengthening to my feelings, if I could pass the 
latter weeks of my stay in Europe in your company, my beloved 
friends. I therefore need not say further, how I should rejoice 
loudly (Germ. : ' himmelhoch jauchzen ') were such a prospect 
open to me. I should much like to go to Salzburg ! but more of 
this when we meet at Berlin ; for I fancy I shall come to you at 
about the end of February, or beginning of March. I shall 
probably soon pay a visit of some days at Hanover, in order to 
sing for the good Crown Prince ; I have been so much urged to 
go there, that I mean to comply with the request. 

" Well ! I hope I have now told you something about us, and 
that, besides, you know now that we do not go during the winter 
to Sweden. Greet my beloved revered father ! Greet the 
brothers also, and the good Schroder ! When shall I receive 
the letter from her ? How good it was of Hermann to write to 
me ! and how clearly do I see the scene on Christmas-eve at your 
home ! We also had a Christmas-tree ! Good people here are 
fond of us. Next Thursday, the 17th, I am giving — a concert, 
you think ? Nay, a children's ball ! and I look forward to it 
Avith a right royal joy ! 

" Farewell, beloved soul. Preserve to me your inestimable 
love, as I remain for life 

" Your ever grateful and loving 

" Jenny." 

Her Christmas-tree ! That was what she could never miss : all 
through her life, she loved, like a child, the home-feast, the 
children's fun of Christmas-tide. Those who knew her can 

1849-1S50.] LUBECK. 411 

recall no scene to which she could more deliciously abandon 
herself with brimming joy than a children's dance at Christmas- 
All the old Swedish merriment and motion would bubble up in 
her at such a time : and her face would laugh all over with 
exuberant hiunour, and her whole body seemed to dance. She 
had a gaiety that was infectious : and no wonder, that she 
managed to make even a Liibeck hotel merry with her radiance. 
" Good people here are fond of us," she writes ; and moreover it 
may possibly have added to the pleasure of the Ball that young 
Mr. Otto Goldschmidt came over to it from Hambm-g, and 
danced with her many a time. The painful memories of the 
last English visit are still heavy upon her heart ; and she is 
profoundly relieved to think that she is not called upon for the 
jDresent to face scenes so ^charged with recent trouble. All, 
therefore, is smiling. The American tour offers just the escape 
which she needs : and, in the meantime, she is pleasantly 
employed in a series of concerts, in the North German towns, 
one of which becomes the opening of a friendship which had a 
deep interest for her, and which accompanied her path far on 
into life. She sang at Hanover on January 29th, and the King 
and Queen* returned "enraptured, and overpowered" from 
hearing her in her Swedish songs ; and her Majesty the Queen 
has graciously put together for this book, from her diary, her 
own record of the intimacy which that concert initiated. She 
tells how " her relations with this gifted and noble-minded artist 
form one of the pleasantest recollections of her life." It was 
not, indeed, the first time that she had heard her sing : for she 
had been present in March, 1845, when she sang ' Norma' and 
in June, 184G, when she gave ' La SonnamhuJa ' — 

" I shall never forget," her Majesty pyrites, " the touching and 
elevating impression which the incomparable singer produced on 
all those present, even on those least easily moved, by her exalted 
conception of these parts. She made of ' Norma,' in the most 
wonderful manner, a sublime female figm-e and prophetess, so 
that the part became, throughout, a perfect and glorious new 
creation. Xo eye remained dry while • listening to the magic 
of this divine voice which stirred to the innermost even those 
who sang with her. In a word, such emotions can never be 

* I.e., of Hanover. 

412 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

So it had been ; and, now, in 1850, their Majesties saw an 
opportunity of making acquaintance with one whom already 
they so highly admired. 

" Several times," the Queen records, " the King and I had the 
unspeakable happiness of hearing the lovely 'Northern Night- 
ingale,' as he always called her, sing to us at home, in a small 
and intimate circle ; and w^e were, of course, from that time 
forth, quite under the fascination of her lofty and religious spirit. 
For my dear husband especially, with his deep feeling, his vivid 
imagination, and his great mental gifts, these days of musical 
delight remained for long in his memory, as a source of un- 
clouded joy. 

" From Hanover, Jenny Lind went to Gottingen, and then 
came back to us, to say good-bye. She told us, with real delight, 
and in the joyous childlike manner so peculiarly her own, how 
greatly the fresh enthusiasm of the young students at the Uni- 
versity had gratified her. They had unharnessed the horses from 
her carriage after the concert, and had dragged it to the hotel 
with endless shouts of joy : and, then, had serenaded her, so that 
she had had to raise her voice in thanks to them from the 
balcony. Enthusiastic shouts of applause had gone up again and 
again from a thousand throats, together with a perfect shower of 

The concert, to Avhich the Queen refers, was given on February 
4th. Jenny Lind had sung for herself on the 2nd and she gave 
this second concert for the poor. It was, indeed, one of her 
wonderful triumphs ; she swept the students into a storm of 
rapturous enthusiasm by her delivery of Mendelssohn's 'Rhein- 
isches Yolkslied,' throwing into the last stanza, with its outburst 
of arch and ringing delight — " Jugend, o schone Eosenzeit ! " 
— an energy, and a glow, which were absolutely irresistible. The 
F-sharps that occur so frequently in the song would lend them- 
selves to the most exciting capabilities of her voice ; and then her 
look of archness, her surrender of herself to the swing and the 
motion of the music as ii broke out on the high notes, her speed, 
and her thrill, and her power of personal magic — Ah ! no wonder 
that the Gottingen students lost their heads that evening. 

She was elected, by the enthusiastic students, a member of a 
famous guild of theirs, kno^vn as the " Burschenschaf t Hannovera," 
which, at that particular date, was enjoying a period of special 
success. She became a " Sister- Associate," and was presented 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 413 

with the red, white, and green ribbon of the guild. Her portrait 
was hung up in their Assembly Eoom. On her leaving Gcittingen 
on February 5th the whole guild accompanied her to Xordheim, a 
distance of four hours, where a halt was made at the inn " The 
Sun," and addresses delivered, in return for which she sang 
several songs for a farewell. She sent off to a small shop in the 
town, and bought green and white ribbon, which she tbre up into 
small shreds and gave each student a piece. So freely and 
delightedly did she surrender herself to the glow and the fun of 
this scene. 

A few days later she received a silk ribbon, of the guild colours, 
on which were inscribed the thirty-two names of the students who 
had sent it. She wrote, on the 13th February, the following 
reply :— 

" Gentlemex, 

"I accept, with sincere gratitude, the ribbon which you 
have sent me : and shall preserve it faithfully to my dying day. 

"Even without this outward token, the 5th of February, 1850, 
would have remained engraven on my memory with indelible 
letters of gold ; but, nevertheless, I regard the ribbon with pride 
and joy, well aware of the honour thereby conferred upon me. 
Oh ! that the sun may often shine as softly upon us all as it did 
on that day, though such moments cannot often be a mortal's lot ! 
Let us then retain their memory, long after youth has forsaken 
us ! 

" And so I once again stretch out my hand to you all, even 
from a distance, as a loving sister ; in the hope that you will 
accept indulgently these poor and inadequate words of mine. 

" May Heaven protect you all ! That is the prayer of your 
grateful, and deeply moved 

" Jexxy Lind." 

She was faithful to her word : for the ribbon was found, 
preserved among her memorials, after her death. The escort to 
Xordheim, with its boyish gaiety is still vividly remembered by 
those who took part in it. 

She came back to Hanover to sing for the poor on the 9th, 
after a concert on the 7th at Bremen. " The Good-bye," which 
she then said to the Queen of Hanover was but the beginning of 
a friendship which so well illustrates her character, and has so 
much of interest in itself, that we venture to insert, at this place, all 

414 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

that the Queen has kindly recorded for us of this after-intimacy, 
even though it carry us far beyond the limits of time set us in 
this book. The personal warmth and affection of the Queen's 
memories will more than compensate to the reader for the breach 
that we are compelled to make in the continuity of our story. 

" Our second meeting with Jenny Lind," continues the Queen, 
*' took place several years later * in the island of Norderney, where 
she, in company with a dear old friend from Hamburg, spent the 
season with us." 

" This was the highest point of our friendship with this gifted 
soul ; for she came to us daily in the morning, telling us stories 
out of her full life, or interchanging ideas with us whereby we 
could fully estimate the depth and purity of her feelings, the 
greatness of her mind. Often in the midst of our conversation, 
she jumped up and sat down at the piano, and her singing at that 
time was more full of soul, if possible, than at other times. 

" What a powerful effect the following little episode had on 
us ! My yomigest daughter, Mary, then scarcely three years old, 
was on my arm while I stood beside the piano. The child 
listened attentively to the heavenly song, then suddenly she threw 
her arms round my neck and burst into tears ! ' That is my 
greatest triumph ! ' cried Jenny Lind, greatly moved. 

" Oh ! those happy hours, spent with her, flew but too quickly 
by, but the remembrance of them lives to this day, unchanged, in 
my heart. 

" In the afternoon, when we took our walk on the shore, Jenny 
Lind sometimes accompanied the King on horseback. She rode 
very well ; and took great pleasure in these excm'sions. She also 
seemed much pleased when we visited her, and her dear old friend, 
in their pretty fishing-cottage. She frequently came to supper, 
after which we generally had some music ; and I even had the 
delight of singing duets with her, of which I was not a little proud. 

" For our sake, Jenny Lind remained in Norderney till the end 
of our stay there, and then returned with us to Hanover. On the 
steamer that took us all to Bremen, she was in such ecstasy at 
the beauty of the North Sea, that she began to sing Taubert's 
song ' Voglein, was singst im Walde,' and when she came to the 
line, ' Ich muss nun einmal singen,' her voice sounded clear as a 
bell over the noise of the waves. We were all completely 
electrified by the overpowering impression, and the tears ran 
down from my dear husband's eyes. In Hanover, our two 

* In the autumn of 1854, two years after her marriage with Mr. Gold- 
echmidt. Her father, Mr. N. J. Lind, was with her during this visit. 

1849-1850.] • LUBECK. 415 

fellow-travellers rested some hours nuder our roof, and when the 
sad hour for parting struck, our hearts were quite heavy. 

" The next time we met was in Diisseldorf , at the great musical 
festival of the Rhine, when the Elijah was performed under the 
conductorship of her amiable and talented husband in 1863. It 
was in this Elijah that we heard for the last time the voice of 
our dear Northern Nightingale. The magnificent scene between 
the widow and Elijah, which she sang with Stockhausen, was 
one of the most powerful and heart-stirring performances we ever 
heard : and the excellent conducting of Mr. Goldschmidt con- 
tributed greatly to the perfection of the whole performance." 

The Queen records how the friendship, thus begun, lasted on 
thi'ough the troubles which fell on the Throne of Hanover in 
18G6, to their final meeting in London in 1876. 

Such was the depth, and warmth, of that intimacy which 
sprang up during those winter months in 1850, when the Hotel 
du Nord in Liibeck was the centre of so much quiet activity. It 
illustrates the character of the attraction she exercised over people 
of high cultivation. They were drawn towards a personality 
which broke through her song, even as it mingled with it ; and 
which spoke to them of that which would, when the music had 
died away, abide as an enduring basis of friendship to which they 
would turn in time of spiritual need. 

But we must return to Liibeck, and pick up the thread of our 
story again. She sang on February 9th at Hanover for the 
poor ; at Oldenberg on the 12th and at Bremen on the 20th ; 
again at Hanover, for charity, on the 25th ; and at Brunswick 
on the 27th, where she received two illuminated addresses. So 
she passed to Berlin. 

By the opening of March, she found herself ensconced in the 
house which was so dear to her, in the old room so crowded with 
earlier associations, encompassed about with that home-warmth 
which she cherished with all the powers of her soul. Everybody 
in the house was taken to her heart, from her "father" at the 
top, to the servants, and porters, whom she remembers in her 
letters. She sang on the 8th for charity : and she seems to have 
been persuaded to throw in another concert, for the same good 
purpose, on the 13th, postponing her concert for Herr Hendrichs 
until the 18th, after a rapid journey to sing at Dresden on the 
15th. She was in excellent force at this moment. " My voice is 

416 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. in. 

behaving well, thank God," she wrote from Berlin on the 13th to 
her gnardian, Herr Munthe. " And what a joy it is to see the 
people so satisfied ! Always the houses are crowded. And what 
an amount I have got together for the poor, by singing during 
these few weeks ! Yes ! Praise be to God ! " Such was her own 
simple account of what was happening. Let us hear from others 
what they were thinking. In the Deutsche AUgemeine Zeitung, 
at Leipzig, a notice appears of the Berlin concert of March 8th. 
The writer goes, that he may once again offer himself to the 
wonderful magic of her voice and presence. He can tell of the 
crowd, of the price of the tickets, of the excitement : but of her 
singing itself, he will not speak a word. What could be said, has 
been said ; and as to the strange, overwhelming power of her 
tones, no words can ever avail to portray it. Only so much will 
he say — that, far from the strain of time having told upon it, it 
is fresher, and stronger than before. 

" And, then, the unspeakable charm of the rendering, the deep 
truth of the expression, the wonderful grace of the nature so 
profoundly harmonious and artistic — that is all unchanged ! " 
The mastery with which she sang the Italian pieces from the 
Fiiritani, and the Twro in Italia, made him regret all the more 
that she does not sing " the German music, which she loves ; for 
in the rendering of this music, which depends, above all, on 
feeling and inner spirit and taste, she is unsurpassed." She was 
altogether magical "in her singing of Meyerbeer's duet *La 
Grand'mere ' — and the inanos at its close could not possibly have 
been rendered more gracefully and more exquisitely. But the 
crown of the evening was her rendering of the songs — Schumann's 
' An den Sonnenschein ' — Lindblad's ' Schlottf egerbub,' and Tau- 
bert's ' Ich muss nun einmal singen.' Those who have once heard 
her sing these, can never forget them ! 

Here is another delicate record of the impression she produced 
on a cultivated hearer on the Berlin visit. It is a letter written 
by Professor Jiingken, a famous physician attached to the Court of 
Berlin, in answer to inquiries about her from her anxious friend, 
Professor von Jliger, in Vienna. 

" For a month," he writes, " the town was on the stretch for 
the arrival of Jenny Lind. For a month had the Wichmanns 
engaged her her rooms ; at last, she appeared ! We saw her 
first at a brilliant soiree at Count Redern's which all the royalties 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 417 

now in Berlin honoured with their presence. The Lind, as soon 
as she caught sight of me, came across to me, and her first 
question was ' How are the Jiigers ? They have "«Titten to me 
about you. Tell me a great deal about them ! ' 

"Two days after this, we heard her at a concert. She is, 
certainly, a marvellous apparition, with an attraction that is 
irresistible. Her voice is very beautiful ; her deliverance is 
noble ; but her play of expression ! — that is positively bewitching. 
She will sing no more on the stage ; but, then, there lies in her 
eyes, in her mien, an expressiveness which is equal to the most 
perfect acting. It is a delight indeed to listen to her ; but a still 
greater delight to see her sing. Her deliverance of her songs is, 
undoubtedly, unsurpassable, and it is peculiarly her own. I have 
heard greater artists than the Lind ; and, for instance, the Rossi 
(Madame Sontag) stands on a grander level of art. But I have 
never heard but one Lind, nor any artist who knew^ better how to 

"A day before her departure, Madame Wichmann was good 
enough to ask us to tea alone with the Lind, where we delighted 
ourselves for a couple of hours with her in the highest possible 
degree, and learnt to klioAV what a really charming and dear child 
she is. I had to tell her everything about your family, your 
fortunes, your affairs, she would know it all." 

Xor did Herr Rellstab fail to offer his tribute. Indeed, he 
proudly welcomes the wonderful singer back from her European 
fame to the scene of those first triiunphs, which he had himself 
so enthusiastically saluted. Berliners cannot forget, he writes, in 
the BerJiti Zeitung on the 10th of March, that the first tones of 
that world-famous voice, which nows rings, like a bell, wide over 
land and sea, were heard, by those outside her native home, at 
Berlin on that day in December, 1844, when she sang to us her 
' Xorma.' She returns now as to a genuine home — to be greeted 
as a daughter whom they had seen, w4th joy and pride, go abroad 
to try her worth in the world, and who now comes back to them, 
decorated with every gift of fame and honour — a yet more perfect 
artist and woman than before. He then goes on to tell how 
her very first notes recalled him to the unique peculiarities of her 

" The sorrowful andante * in the aria from the Puritani gave 
her an opportunity of revealing that utterly magical sweetness of 

* I.e., Qui la voce. 

2 E 

418 JENNY LIND. [i5k. ix. ch. hi. 

lier voice, that patlios in its ring, that smoothness in its phrasing, 
that djing-away and vanishing of the pianissimo, which the 
supreme artist delivered with the most absohite precision." 

He notices how half at least of the spiritual effect of her 
singing is lost, if she is not seen as well as heard. 

" For it is her peculiar charm, in which no other artist can 
touch her, that the expression of the melody seems to play around 
her very life, to breathe itself over her features, to stream forth 
through her eyes " 

"The singer's voice has gained in power, her execution in 
certainty ; yet, perhaps, the strain and effort were a little more 
marked than they used to be, in the high notes, and at passages 
of the strongest colouring, where, of old, it was so perfect that 
one never used to notice that the difficulties were difficult at all. 
One hardly can say whether it be a habit that has crept in, or the 
custom of singing in very large spaces, or the different taste of a 
different public, needing stronger material, that has drawn the 
artist to just exceed, here and there, that fine line, which, for us, 
marks the limit of the purest beauty, and which she, formerly, 
clung to with such absolute and unerring self-command." 

She sang Meyerbeer's duet ' La Grand'mere' with om* old friend 
Fraulein Tuczec, and here " she gave us," says Herr Rellstab, 
" the most fascinating and innocent and playful grandchild on 
whom a grandmother has ever looked down and smiled." 

In the Eossini aria, brilliant as was the execution, he missed 
the spiritual and tender qualities, which are found to perfection 
in her singing of the ' Lied,' in which she seems to create the 
music, and to reveal herself as a poetess in musical expression. 
Each song is given a living colour of its own. 

In one of these she made us feel as if a " maiden was talking 
to children — to children such as we all would wish to be for 

In the national ballad, which she sang on her recall, " it was," 
says Herr Eellstab, " as if she were once more greeting her own 
home with her mother tongue — so full of heart-blessings were her 
tones ; and everything seemed bathed in the fresh flood of pure 
mountain air." 

Our Berlin critic has lost, as we see, nothing of his old enthu- 
siasm. And he follows her, song by song, through the second 
and third concerts, with a devotion that knows no bounds. He 
proclaims her absolute supremacy now as a concert-singer, no less 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 419 

than before as a dramatic artist. And it is now, in this context, 
that he, again and again, calls attention to her creative dramatic 
intensity, by which she spreads about her song the colom- and 
atmosphere of the scene which it embodies, lending to this purpose 
her whole frame, so that features and motions and look and 
expression all combine with the music to convey a single and 
overwhelming impression. In this, it is remarkable how^ he 
repeats the very words of Professor Jiingken, in conveying that 
which so struck them both. 

He tells us how, in giving "VYeber's song from Oheron, ' Ocean 
du Ungeheuer,' with orchestral accompaniment, " she managed 
to bring before us the whole majestic scenery of Nature with its 
terrors and its charms," so that no one could tell whether it is 
eye or ear which was most captivated. " Both look and tone can 
never be forgotten, with which she wove a woeful image round 
about the words ' AVo die Fluth ein Leben raubt.' " 

On the 20th of March, he wrote in the same jom^nal a criticism 
of her concert on behalf of Herr Hendrichs. 

After brief thanks to the other performers whom he cannot 
stop to praise in presence of the one overwhelming impression, he 
goes on to assert that, of all the three evenings, the great singer 
reached, in this last, her highest level. In the aria from Mozart's 
Figaro (the last air of " Susanna ") * she filled the music with the 
sense of moonlight, and the stillness of the garden, and the scent 
of flowers. The soft depth which she put into the words 
" notturna face " — the light play of the hovering breath, made 
one say " This is not Susanna who waits for Figaro — it is Juliet 
who looks for Romeo ! " so powerfully did the artist's ideal work 
upon the real, to draw from it a beauty beyond its own. 

Her second piece was a little spring ballad — sung for the first 
time by her — " Song of the Bird and the Maiden." f 

And she followed this with Mendelssohn's Suleilca. 

" That Eastern wonder-dream, with its violets that peep, its 
stars that twinkle, its roses that yield their perf lunes, its holy river 
with its rushing stream — was it all real ? And he who could for- 
get the ' Forget-me-not ! ' must be one who, in the poet's words, 
' Can never be remembered in life or death.' " 

* I.e., " Deh vieni, non tardar." 
t I.e., Mangold's " Zwicgesang." 

2 E 2 

420 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

After " the roses, and violets," of the German she gave an Italian 
aria, which was full of sunlight and sparkle, as it ran laughing 
from her lips. And then yet once again the critic cannot but ask 
himself what it is, beyond all the marvellous technical skill, 
which breathes through every form, and gives light to every 
colour, in this supreme singing ? And, once again, he is com- 
pelled to give the old answer, " The simple truth can express itself 
quite simply ; it is the purity of soul which speaks through all 
the artistic form." It is for this he gives her thanks with all the 
thousands who share his feelings. And with this he wishes her 
God-speed to that far land to which she goes across the ocean — 
and a happy return once more to this her home. 

She was off on the 20th to Hamburg, bent on a purpose, of 
which the record has been supplied to us by one who was deeply 
interested in its success. Madame Clara Schumann has kindly 
written down, out of her diary kept at the time, the following 
account of what occurred. The picture given by her of Jenny 
Lind's swift and vivid appearance on the scene, from entry to 
exit, is warm with affection, and coloured with the reality of life. 
The words bubble up out of a thankful heart, with all the 
quickened insight of a free delight ; they can best be left to tell 
their own tale in their own native freshness and unaided force. 

" March, 1850. Hamburg. 

" Wednesday, the 20th. — I was just lying down a little after 
dinner and reading in a letter about Jenny Lind's appearance in 
Dresden, when she herself came in, having only just arrived from 
Berlin. I was very pleased and so was Robert, who, however, 
had had a sort of presentiment of her coming all day. She was 
most amiable and said she had come from Berlin so quickly, as 
she wished to sing at my concert in Hamburg ; she was not a 
little astonished to hear that it was over, for Eobert had written to 
her that we were going to leave on the 23rd, from which she 
concluded that the concert would take place on the 22nd. She 
immediately offered to sing at my concert in Altona, * which was 
fixed for to-morrow, a proposal I of course most gladly accepted. I 
felt inclined to smother her with delight and gratitude. 

" On TTiursday, the 21st ^ Lind called on us for a small vocal 
rehearsal, but which turned out something more, for she sang a good 
many of Robert's songs, and how she sang them, with such 
truth, with such deep feeling and simplicity, how she sang at 

* Altona, adjoining city to Hamburg. 

1849-1850.] LiJBECK. 421 

first sight ' Marieuwiirmchen,' * Friihlingsglaube,' from an album 
imknown to her, — that is a thing never to be forgotten ! What 
a grand, heaven-inspired being she is, what a pure, true artist's 
soul, how all she says refreshes one, how she always hits upon the 
right thing and expresses it in few words ! in short, never per- 
haps have I loved and reverenced a woman as I do her. These 
songs will for ever sound in my heart, and were it not wTong, I 
should say that I don't wish to hear these songs sung by any one 
else but herself. I need scarcely mention that Eobert is equally 
charmed with her ; for a composer it is a special delight to hear 
his songs rendered as coming from the depths of his own heart. 
She left, and each time she left, I stayed behind in a state of 
intense excitement, her notes and words continuously quivering 
in my soul. 

" The Soiree in Altona on the evening of the 21st was splendid. 
Earely, I should think, you would find so much combined as 
to-day, — a crowded hall, tremendous enthusiastic cheering, the 
exquisite singing, my own performance not so bad, Robert's beauti- 
ful second trio with Boie and Kupfer, — in short, nothing was 
wanting to make it all perfection. How she sang, how the 
' Rheinisches Volkslied,' by Mendelssohn, how the ' Sonnenschein/ 
by Robert, no — that cannot be described ! Robert said to her : 
' That really makes the sun shine on one's back ; ' such freshness, 
such childlike innocence and simplicity ; one must hear that 
again and again, — and the audience indeed insisted on an encore. 
And how she sang ' Der Himmel hat eine Thriine geweint,' with 
such intelligent rendering, putting her very soul into it ! 

" It cannot be expressed in words what a heavenly impression 
is made by such rendering of such songs ! 

" Otten called on us, and m'ged us to give another matinee at 
Hamburg to-morrow, and to persuade Lind to sing. But much 
as I might wish it, I should nevertheless not like to do it for my 
own benefit. I proposed her giving concerts at which I woidd 
play, or our giving a matinee together for the poor ; but she 
disapproved of all this, and said, she would only sing if I were to 
give a matinee for myself, and she would then leave for Liibeck in 
the afternoon, instead of in the morning. She pressed me hard and 
I accepted, for who coidd have resisted so tempting an offer ? 
Evidently she wished also to obtain a pecuniary advantage for us, 
for later on she expressed her great satisfaction on hearing that 
the matinee would be very well attended. She also insisted on 
high prices, but that I did not approve of, and she at last gave in. 

" Towards evening dear Jenny came to us, and we again had a 
vocal rehearsal ,which as before turned out something grander. 
She sang the ' Nussbaum,' ' Widmung,' ' Friihlingsnacht,' ' Stille 

422 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

Liebe,' and a good many others besides, also from Robert's opera 
Genoveva in the last act. 

" I should have preferred a thousand times spending the Avhole 
evening with her in this way to having to go to a party. Jenny 
Lind was also invited, but she wished to devote her last evening 
to her hosts (Madame Brunton and Frl. Seminoff) ; altogether 
she does not like going into society, it is even difficult to get at 
her at home, and quite imimssihle for the curious. 

" She takes the greatest care of her voice ; she does not dance, 
and drinks neither wine, nor tea, nor coffee. She is in every way an 
ethereal being ! She was most attentive to me in other things 
besides singing so very kindly at two of my concerts, staying on 
here on pm'pose for them, &c. ; so, for instance, she never 
suffered me ito go to her for a rehearsal, — further, she always 
fetched us to the concert, and so on ! On the other hand, what 
pretensions are made by inferior songstresses ! " 

" Saturday, 23rd. 

" Matinee. Exceedingly full, great cheering. Jenny Lind 
had seated herself behind the lid of the piano, whereupon a 
general commotion ensued, for few^ only could see her and yet 
every one wished to see her. She again sang most exquisitely, — 
Mozart's aria from Figaro with enchanting simplicity (Frl. AY. 
might have learnt respect for the composer from her) — besides 
songs by Mendelssohn, four songs by Robert, winding up again 
with the ' Sonnenschein ' twice over. To-day she gave a proof 
of how she takes in everything that she sings, by singing the 
latter part of the ' Friihlingsnacht ' by heart, the leaves having 
got into confusion in being tm-ned over. All Robert's songs 
she sang in the manner which I had pictured to myself as ideal, 
but in which I had never dreamed to hear them sung. She 
does not pass by any delicate point, which others overlook com- 
pletely ; in the same way it is a real pleasure to watch her, when 
others are performing, for nothing escapes her, not even the 
softest, most subtle harmonic change. 

" After the matinee Jenny Lind would on no account allow us 
to take her home, but said good-bye to us at our house, and the 
parting pained me very much indeed. Robert has a warm 
admirer in her ! She whispered to me one day : ' What a genius 
your husband is, how much I reverence him ! ' How pleased 
she always was on noticing that she had sung his songs to his 
satisfaction ! But let this suffice, for words are but a poor re- 
production of the feelings." 

Nothing can be more engaging than this picture of her. These 
days were, indeed, singularly happy. She was in the full tide of 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 423 

her power. She moved from trimnph to triumph. She was free 
from all the harassing turmoil and distracting emotions of the 
stage. She had left behind and shaken off the agitation and 
distresses of the heart, with which the last year had been so 
clouded. She was at her own disposal : she could come and go 
as she chose. She saw her way ahead along a road that teemed 
with promises. She was ever close to affectionate friends : and 
new intimacies were springing up all round her. Her great gift 
was there, to use for the ends to which she loved to dedicate it : 
she had but to lift her voice, and the poor on whom her pity 
alighted, were relieved Avith boons, or her fellow-artists, Avhom 
she admired and reverenced, were released from their anxieties. 
Wherever she went, she carried blessing with her. And life was 
young in her : and spirits Avere high : and she revelled in the 
liberty of movement that was now so easy, and so possible. There 
is a sense of springing vivacity left upon us by the memorials of 
this time. "We can feel it in the rapidity of her musical insight 
which so struck the great pianist : and in the irresistible zeal 
with which she throws herself into the congenial task of doing 
her best for her friends. And, yet, how noticeable, in this record 
of Madame Schumann, is the touch of domesticity which she 
noticed in Jenny Lind ! Still, with all this gaiety, she held her- 
self aloof : she suspected and disliked " Society " ; she reserved 
to herself a private corner, which it was almost impossible to 
penetrate, where she hedged herself in against all but the chosen 
few ; and even they had to approach it with care and caution. 
This was eminently characteristic. Her enthusiasm for Schu- 
mann's genius, which had begun under the guidance of Mendels- 
sohn in 1840, who had first shown her the beauty of his Lieder, 
seems to have let her, instinctively, inside his music : and even 
Madame Schumann was surprised at the speed with which she 
took possession of his songs, and at the delicate security of her 
interpretation of his mind. " Ah ! who was it that made that 
sun shine ? " she rejoined when the composer said that her 
singing made him feel it warm on his back. She felt her Avhole 
being move under his sensitive hand ; and she knew all the 
vibrations of his sentiment. At the very close of her life, while 
she lay on her death-bed at Malvern, in weakness and misery, 
once as her daughter opened the shutters and let in a ray of 
morning sun, she just let her lips shape the first bars of the old 

424 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. hi. 

song she loved, ' An den Sonnenschein.' They were the last 
notes that she ever sang on earth. 

Everything conspired to be good at this particular time. From 
Sweden came a grateful acknowledgment of a kindness which she 
had been able to do on behalf of Lund University, where an 
effort to establish a large institute for the " Academic Union,'* 
had come to a block for lack of funds. The building was for the 
use and pleasm-e of the youth of the university : and the cause 
touched her ; and, with the sanction of Herr Munthe, she had 
lent them 10,000 crowns to save the scheme. A thankful 
recognition of this act was drawn up and signed, on March 14th, 
by the representatives of all the " Academic Nations " of Lund. 
*' That the building can now be continued without interruption,'" 
it declared ; " and that it will be ready, in all probability, for the 
Oscar Day this year (Dec. 1), the Academic Union have to thank 
principally a name which is full of good omen wherever it is 
heard in the whole civilised world, but nowhere has it such a 
musical sound as in the ears of the young men of Sweden." 

This pleasant piece of gratitude would have greeted her 
probably at Liibeck, whither she got back about the 2Gth of 
March to find Mdlle. Ahmansson much better than when she left 
her. " My little dog, too," so she writes to Madame Wichmann, 
" was so affectionate to me ; and jumped up at once on to my 
lap, and lay there as quiet as possible ! . . . Just think, dearest,'* 
she goes on, " that I sang twice in Altona and Hamburg ! The 
Wieck-Schumanns were there, and they were too delightful, and 
too remarkable, and too gifted not to kindle love and' admiration. 
And I count it a special honour to have been allowed to sing a 
couple of little songs at their concerts." 

A bracelet had come, it appears, through the Lord Chamber- 
lain, from Berlin as a tribute for her singing. "The thing is 
pretty, and artistic ; " she goes on in the same letter : " and it 
cannot but be a great pleasure that their Majesties should have 
personally chosen the gift. But my singing has ever received 
such appreciation, and reward, that it was a kind of recreation to 
be allowed just once to sing freely on an occasion like that. — 
But kings, and queens, and such like, must always put a high 
value on their pleasm-es ! " 

The happy time at Liibeck is running rapidly out : and she is 
close on the date fixed for her return to Sweden. She writes yet 

1849-18O0.] LUBECK. 425 

once again, in her own English, to Baroness French in retui*n for 
letters received from her on February Gth : — 

" How kind, how very kind of you not to forget me ! I re- 
member so well how pleased I was when I first had the honour of 
meeting you (in the carriage, when we were going off to Man- 
chester), and how I felt sm*e that it would be very easy to love 
you, and your dear, dear daughter ! 

" I am, thank God, much better than before I left England ; I 
feel only very seldom that bad head-ache ; and what deliverance 
I cannot tell ! Om- doctor here has so perfectly understood my 
whole constitution that he has made me a different person in that 
respect that my head is restored ! ! "We are now waiting for the 
Swedish boat to take us to Sweden ... in about f om*teen days. 
I intend to remain in my dear country till about the end of June ; 
and then, we are going to Schlangenbad and Ems ; and from 
thence to London (for a few days only) for Liverpool. And 
there is the great point ! From Liverpool we will be saying fare- 
well to Europe for one or two years. ... I will keep you in a 
very constant memory. ... A kiss on dear Miss Georgina's 
forehead from her friend Jenny ; and for you, dear Madam, the 
expression of my sincere love, and deep attachment. 

" Your devoted 
"Liibeck, April lOth, 1850. " JexNY." 

One other letter, full of her innermost heart, she WTote to 
Augusta von Jiiger, the Professor's daughter, of whom she was 
very fond, and who had sent her a water-colour picture of Meran, 
where such happy days had been spent with the Wichmanns. 

The letter will show how deeply she was moved, at this time, 
by an evangelical piety, which had stirred her during her last 
English visit, and which woke in her a vivid sense of human sin, 
and of the peace to be found in God's forgivenness. She was 
full of eager desire to speak to others of the peace w^hich she had 
found for herself ; and her affection for Augusta von Jager 
prompts her zeal, as a messenger to her soul. 

" My owx dearest Gusti, 

" AVhenever I hear anything of you, and of Vienna, my 
whole heart goes out to it ; and I feel how deep and fast my 
soul clings to you ! 

" I call it friendship indeed, my dear Gusti, that you should, in 
spite of my long long silence, still prove true in thought of me, 

426 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. m. 

and not only in thought, but had also made for me so precious a 
remembrance. You cannot think what joy I have taken in it. 
Would that I could speak my thanks in words ! At any rate, 
believe most assiu-edly, that I not only have ' a little tiny bit of 
love ' for you, but that it must ever have a profound part in my own 
life-story, without my even troubling myself to bring this about ; 
for were I never to hear from you again, or were I never to let 
you hear of me — still it would remain through fair or foul, 
through life and death. And I believe, and hope that you think 
so of me — do you not ? . . . . How glad I shall be to get to 
Vienna, and spend some evenings with you ! Ah ! much, very 
much, must one live through, before one learns to fasten on the 
Life, the Higher Life. Much — very much — should I like to tell, 
in quiet, to you, my dearest friends — you and your mother — that 
I might share it with you ! My life is so full, so beautiful, so 
wonderful, so great, that I often feel a lively desire to share all 
its memories with those whom I love ! I have for long had the 
most eager wish to earn, somewhere, a great deal of money, so as 
to endow a school for poor lost children in my own country. And 
the invitation to America came as a direct answer ; so that I go 
there in this confidence ; and I pray God in Heaven, out of a 
full heart, that He will guide me thither, as ever before, with His 
gentle hand ; and will graciously forgive me my sins, and my 
infirmities. I shall have much to encounter ; it is a very big 
undertaking. But since I have no less an aim before me than to 
help in widening God's kingdom, the littlenesses of life vanish in 
face of this ! 

" My dearest Gusti, my Bible was never more necessary to me 
than now — never more truly my stay ! I drink therein rest, self- 
knowledge, hope, faith, love, carefulness, and the fear of God ; so 
that I look at life and the world in quite another fashion to what 
I did before. Would that all men could come to this knowledge, 
and that we all daily feasted on this Divine Book ; and would 
that my own Gusti would take all her trouble to this Book ! 
Then first should we all know how to taste the true life ! " 

She tells her of her plans, and closes thus : — 

" You see how little peace they let me enjoy. But I am very, 
very happy ! There is nothing I want ; and everything goes well 
with me. My voice is better than ever. I have long left the 
stage ; and I firmly believe that this decision has brought my 
soul happiness and peace. And now, farewell, my own sister! 
Heaven send you its blessing ; may my image bring you always 
courage and joy, for indeed I mean you well ! Let me, some- 

1849-1850.] LUBECK. 427 

times, have a word or tAvo from you ; and comit ever on my true 
attachment, and on my unchanging love. For life, 

" Your sister, 

" Jexxy." 

Already, she had intended to have been at home ; but the 
Baltic ice still delayed the steamers, so that it is May before she 
is off. She gave three concerts before leaving the town in 
which she had found herself so entirely at home — one on the 6th 
of April, for the poor of Liibeck, another on the 20th for the 
widow of the orchestral director, Bach, and yet another on the 
26th for the pianist Schreinzer. On the 7th of May, she wrote a 
very affectionate letter to her great friend, Madame Schwabe. 
She is to sail on the morrow. She apologises much for not 
having written before, and tells of herself, and all her plans. " I 
am much better than ever before ; my head is incomparably 
better, and my whole being is in good order." She has greatly 
enjoyed singing to the Germans, who are so wonderfully alive to 
the touch of music. She is impatient to see America, and the 
Falls of Niagara, and the Atlantic Ocean. Alas ! she will not get 
any stay in her beloved England for a long time ! She asks for 
her friend's prayers. Young Mr. Goldschmidt has been over 
from Hamburg, and has played in a concert, and tasted a little 
spring air, and heard the nightingales. And so good-bye ! 

It is a bright, hopeful letter, during a time of special cheer- 
fulness and ease. She had thoroughly enjoyed it. Her health 
was renewed, her voice was at its finest, her spirits were high, her 
soul was at peace. High and low, rich and poor, artists and 
public — all were at her feet. She had carried out her dearest 
aims with unhindered liberty. She revelled in her new-found 
freedom. So home, with a glad heart — home yet once again, 
for a triumphal passage over the familiar scene, before she 
launched out on to the great ocean, to the far land, where a 
wholly new life awaited her into which she passes out of our 
sight, beyond the range set us in this record of her artistic 

428 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. iv. 



She reached Stockholm ou the 12th of May, iu our old friend 
" The Gauthiod," and was welcomed home by an immense crowd, 
who had assembled on the quay to greet her. She was to sing at 
six concerts in the Eoyal Theatre, on the 24th, 28th, and 31st of 
May, and the 3rd, 5th, and 7th of June ; and, besides these, there 
were to be two State Concerts during June in honour of the 
wedding of the Crown Prince. The tickets for the concerts were 
put up for auction, but all the profits went to the Royal Theatre.* 
It was, we remember, on its behalf, that the King had invited 
her to return and sing. On the concerts themselves, the Daily 
Allehanda, her old friend, wrote that it was enough to say that — ■ 
" she was the same as ever." 

" Though Mdlle. Lind may not appear again in any role on the 
stage itself, yet it is only the costume which we miss ; for if you 
will only go and see and hear her sing, in the Puritani, or as the 
woodland child in VielJca, or as the passionately sorrowing Donna 
Anna, or, again, as Jenny Lind herself, impulsive, naive, and 
charming, pouring out her wonderful music in Taubert's little 
Lied — then come back and say whether you have ever heard such 
dramatic singing, or seen a more living representation in look, 
manner or expression of each several character whose mind and 
feelings the artist proposed to paint in song." 

Froken von Stedingk was faithful as ever, in welcoming her 
back, and warmly defended her resolution to leave the boards. 

" In the spring," she writes in her diary, " I met Jenny Lind 

* The profits came to 21,805 crowns (over £1,200). The fee of 1,000 
crowns, which she consented to accept, was given by her to the Sick and 
Burial Association of the employe's in tiie tailoring department of the 

1850.] HOME ONCE MORE. 429 

again. Many were blaming her, just then, for the decision she 
had taken, and which had, no doubt, been painful to her — the 
decision to quit the stage. I could not possibly disapprove it, 
knowing as 1 did the convictions on which it was based, however 
much I might, personally, be the loser. She now sang only in 
concerts. Thus she closed her theatrical career at the very height 
of her triumph ; she deliberately renounced the admiration which 
every^'here followed her, and this in consequence of a resolution 
which in my eyes, makes her more worthy of honour than ever. 

" Many suppose this resolution to be the result of Pietism. 
Jenny Lind is as God-fearing as she is pure, but had Pietism been 
the cause, she would not herself have gone to the play, which she 
declared that she liked to do, to see others act. No ! but she had 
felt how physically and morally wearing Avas the work in the 
service of dramatic art, so that, for instance, for several days after 
a performance of Norma, her nerves would be so shattered that 
she would be unfit for other useful mental occupation." 

Frdken von Stedingk attended the Queen Dowager's soiree 
musicaU in the spring, and she tells us how, when Jenny Lind was 
taking leave of the Queen Dowager, " Her Majesty asked her to 
choose for herself one of some magnificent bracelets set before her. 
But she, with tears in her eyes, begged to be allowed the favour of 
having sung once before the Queen, without any more reward than 
the tiny bunch of forget-me-nots which were in a vase on the table. 
The Queen then gave her the simple flowers, which seemed to make 
her happier than diamonds ; and this little incident, which I 
witnessed, well illustrates Jenny Lind's way of feeling." 

Nor was it only the Court which desired to do her special 
honour at this parting. 

In the course of June, she received a tribute which embodied, 
in a distinct and remarkable manner, the profound feeling with 
which the entire body of her people were touched, by the 
splendour of her generosity. A medal had been struck in her 
honour, to which almost every one of distinction in Sweden, 
from the King downwards, subscribed ; the committee of presen- 
tation included the names of the 

Baron de Geer, I Julie I.ofvenskiold, 

Count B. von Platen, 
G. Albert Ehrensward, 


J. A. Frost, 

Elizabeth Berzelius. 

F. VON Dardel, 

j. n. borelius, 

Baron Bernhard von Beskow, 

Charlotte Murray. 

430 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. iv. 

The Address with which the gift was presented is singularly 
graceful ; and it fitly closes the record of public tribute given in 
this book, in that it recalls, yet once again, at the end of her 
artistic life in Sweden, the tone and temper which we noticed in 
all the earliest records of her appearance. 

A spiritual and moral force animating Art ; a spiritual and 
moral service for Art to render— these are the two poles of her 
Artistic belief : and it is these which the following Address notes 
with felicity and fervour. 

" To Jenny Lind. 

" The lovers of music at Stockholm have, during the present 
spring, as well as during the winter season of 1847-48, enjoyed a 
succession of memorable feasts, at which they have admired alike 
the Artist's genius, and the nobility of heart wherewith she has 
dedicated her triumphs exclusively to Charity and Benevolence, 
and has thereby testified that the aim of true Art is something 
higher than to please, and to astonish. 

" Having been privileged to witness these festivals of Art, 
where the "beauty of the soul found its expression through the 
medium of song, the lovers and friends of music are desirous that 
the great artist, on leaving her native country, should carry away 
with her some outward token of this period of her life, of which 
the inner memory, which is at all times the companion of virtue, 
will follow her through life, until that other world is unveiled 
to her of which she has been the messenger to us through the 
language of music. 

" The undersigned have received the agreeable charge of 
handing to her this simple souvenir," &c. 

The medal was struck both in gold and silver and bronze. On 
its face was the bust of Jenny Lind, draped, with the left 
shoulder brought rather forward. On the back was a design in 
which the figures of Charity and Patriotism stand on either side 
of the Genius of Song, while a symbolic figure of Gratitude, 
bearing a wreath of Immortelles, kneels at the foot of the throne, 
and inscribes the date of the gift, made by Jenny Lind, out of the 
profits of her last operatic season in Sweden — December 3, 1847, 
to April 12, 1848. Inside the laurel wreath that encircles this 
design are given the names of the chief characters in which she 
gaj]Lg, — Norma, Lucia, Agatha, Amina, Susanna, Alice, Maria, 

1850.] HOME ONCE MORE. 431 

Adina. Below the group of figures runs the inscription : " In 
memory of the friends of Lyric Art in Stockhohn," 

The gift was one which went home to her heart. She 
recognized in it her own people's appreciation of her career — 
their warmth of affection, their delight in her glory, their grate- 
ful sense of her loyalty to them. Those three medals were 
zealously treasured by her to the very close of her life, as a 
precious token of the bond of kinship which knit her so fast to 
the land of her birth, and to her childhood's home : and so fully 
did she acknowledge the appeal made, in the design, to her 
patriotism that, on her death, she left the medals to be committed 
to the National Museum at Stockholm, where now they lie, a 
pledge of the unbroken bond to her country, which no long years 
of separation had served to weaken or annul. 

Before she left Stockholm she twice sang some Sacred music, on 
a Sunday, at Evening Prayers ; once on June Sth, in the Jakobs- 
kyrka, and, again, later in the St. Clara Kyi'ka. 

In the London house, at Moreton Gardens, where her last years 
were spent, there hangs a most graceful picture, in water-colours, 
of the west gallery in St. Clara, as she stood to sing the solemn 
solo in the Elijah, " Then shall the righteous shine forth as the 
sun." * Her upright figure, in its elevated pose, is beautifully 
caught, thrown out against the floods of mellow light that pour 
in through the western window. Something there was in her, at 
that moment, as in the chm^h of that very parish where her 
troubled infancy first felt the light, she was delivering, with all 
her dedicated powers, to the praise and honour of God, the 
message of radiant hope which awaited the righteous — something 
there was, which arrested the artist's eye, and interpreted to him 
its significance. He left on the paper a record, which conveys, at 
a glance, the rapt, upward look, so familiar to those who knew her ; 
and he spread about her the glow of a sunlight, which seemed a 
symbol of that shining glory of which her voice rang out the promise. 

In that church she sang for the last time in Sweden under the 
maiden-name which was hers by birth. The service was on June 
the 25th, and on the 27th day of the month she started from 
Stockholm on her great venture. 

* She was peculiarly fond of singing this Aria for Tenor on private and 
domestic occasions, such as this in the Stockholm Church. Few pieces are 
more intimately associated with her memory by her own children. 

432 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. v. 



She left her country with a happy sense of the goodwill that was 
faithfully following her career, as it opened out into paths that 
carried her far afield. She had a few engagements to fulfil on her 
way across Europe, before she joined her companions, Benedict 
and Belletti, who were awaiting her in London. 

She crossed quickly through England, only sleeping a couple of 
nights in London, and reaching Crumpsall, near Manchester, the 
home of her faithful friends the Schwabes, in time to rest a few 
days before fulfilling her engagements at Liverpool on the 16th 
and 19th of August. Both Mr. and Mrs. Schwabe accompanied 
her ; and she had, therefore, the comfort of affectionate intimacy 
to help her through the racket and distress of the final start. 

The two concerts were to raise money towards paying for the 
new hall of the Liverpool Philharmonic Society in which they 
were, given. The first of these, on the IGth, was noticeable 
only for " causing an excitement," according to the Times of 
August 19th, "to which the musical annals of Liverpool can find 
no parallel." " The enthusiasm went far beyond fever-height." 
She sang her famous pieces, ' Qui la Voce ; ' ' Und ob die WoIJce,'* 
from the Freischiltz ; ' Noii imventar^ from the Flaiito Magico ; 
n Duet from the Tnrco in Italia with Belletti ; and, then (after a 
new Song by Benedict, called ' Take this Lute '), the Norwegian 
Echo Song, accompanying herself. 

So far she was on old ground ; but, at the second concert, a 
very different and a vital departure was made. It was her first 
singing of the Messiah, in which, in later years, she proved her- 
self incomparable. 

The excitement of expectation was intense. On August 19th, 
the Times critic * reports that as he writes his despatch, on 
Saturday 17th, 

* I.e., the well-known Mr. J. A. Davison. 

1850.] DEPARTUKE. 433 

" The rehearsal for the Messiah is now proceeding at the Phil- 
harmonic Hall, the precincts of which are besieged bj a mob 
anxious to obtain a glimpse of Jenny Lind. The greatest 
curiosity prevails about this performance ; for Mdlle. Lind has 
never sung in an Oratorio of Handel's since her arrival in this 
country. Monday night will show whether she will achieve the 
same success in the Messiah as in the Creation, and the Elijah.''' 

As to the rehearsal, he records with warm commendation that, 

" Mdlle. Lind was, as usual, the first to arrive, the last to 
depart, and the most attentive to her own music, and to the 
iudications of the conductor. If every one were as painstaking 
and zealous at rehearsals as Mdlle. Jenny Lind, the critic would 
have much less to complain of." 

On the 20th, the critic telegraphs the result for the Times of 
August 21st. 

" Jenny Lind's singing surpassed anticipation. Her energy, 
and brilliant execution of ' Eejoice greatly ' ; her expression in 
' He shall feed His flock ' ; her tenderness in ' How beautiful are 
the feet ' ; her fervid devotion in * I know that my Redeemer 
liveth ' ; and her fine rendering of the last air, ' If God be for 
us,' which made it a new and unexpected feature, raised 
unbounded enthusiasm. In the Recitatives, besides the excellence 
of her vocalisation, the pointed, articulate manner in which she 
pronounced the English words, excited general admiration." 

After praising BeUetti, and the chorus, and criticising the 
band, he tells how, at the close, the National Anthem was sung, 

" Jenny Lind giving the two principal verses. The scene that 
ensued defies description. The walls of the building reverberated 
with cheers. Hats, sticks, handkerchiefs were waved in every 
direction. The platform of the orchestra was covered with 
bouquets and wreaths, many of which fell upon the head and :the 
shoulders of the songstress. It was a leave-taking such as'; even 
Jenny Lind has rarely experienced." 

In the Times of the 22nd, Mr. Davison contributes a detailed 
criticism of her delivery of the numbers in Messiah. He has 
much to say, which comes with the authority of a most skilful 
and experienced judgment. 

2 F 

434 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. v. 

" Mdlle. Lind's performance, in the Messiah, has," he considers, 
"enhanced, if possible, her repntation. 'Rejoice greatly' is a 
veritable Bravura, not a mere senseless display of roulades and 
fioriture, but a gush of melody in which the exultant feeling of 
the text is expressed with a power that springs from inspiration. 
The elaborate divisions of the Song demand the greatest flexibility, 
while its peculiar vocal character can only be expressed by a voice 
at once strong and brilliant, combined with a free command of the 
upper notes. These physical requisites are among the peculiar 
gifts of Mdlle. Jenny Lind, whose well-known intelligence and 
reverence for the text enabled her to employ them with the finest 

" The air ' He shall feed His flock ' requires a simplicity which 
derives effect from the innate and unobtrusive beauty of the music. 
This divine melody fell from her lips like soft water from a spring. 
The reading of the words was perfect ; and the shake at the end, — 
the legitimate and only ornament introduced — was executed with 
a finished neatness and a command over the sotto voce which 
afforded the fullest satisfaction to the ear." 


" ' For now is Christ risen ' had in it something of positive 
inspiration. The termination — strictly according to the text 
without even a concluding shake — was far more effective than 
all the singer's art could have made it, exercised without that 
feeling of veneration which teaches that to touch such music is 
to spoil it." 

In conclusion, he considers that — 

" The depth and sublimity of the music exhibited Mdlle. Lind's 
talents in a totally new light." 

So triumphant was the first historical opening on the field with 
which she so intimately identified herself in later years. It was a 
wonderful passage from the atmosphere of the Figlia to that of 
the Messiah; but the English knew, now, at what level her 
supreme gifts lay ; and they welcomed her on to the ground of 
their famous Oratorio with a heartiness of recognition which she 
cordially recognised. It was to the English that she specially 
loved to sing the music of the Oratorio. 

Her last day at Liverpool was taken up with visits to view the 
new wing of the Southern and Toxteth Hospital, due to her last 
year's singing ; and with receiving there a silver tea-kettle and 
a pair of silver candlesticks 

ur/&/mm.^.UecJ^)t(l rronz 

a.^iAc^/im^a/iA -lu. .Jh'J/ft/A/n. . ^tW'fiSSO. 

1850.] DEPARTURE. 435 

On the evening' before sailing, her Swedish heart was at work ; 
she conld not let herself go on this new and strange experiment 
withont desiring the sanction and the blessing of the " old folk 
at home." Back to father and mother her thoughts were travel- 
ling ; she must feel herself covered by their authority ; she must 
let her last words be to them. So, on the evening before the start, 
she sat down and wrote the following letter, with its buoyant 
hope, with its tender daughterly humility. 

The daguerreotype, to which she refers, is the one from which 
the picture on the opposite page is taken. It was engraved in the 
Illustrated London Kews of the day : but the present picture is 
taken fresh from the old plate, which has, by diligent search, been 
recovered, and used. 

"Liverpool, 20th Aug., 1850. 

" My deae Parexts, 

"May these lines find you in the enjoyment of good 
health. I have been very well since I left Sweden, and am now 
startinsr for the New World. For we leave to-morrow mornins; 
at half- past ten. 

" I have been eight days in England, and have sung here in 
two concerts, both of w^liich have been most successful, and the 
English public has greeted me as if I belonged to them. I am 
met everywhere with heartiness and love. Oh, may I succeed in 
deserving them more and more ! 

"I have been to see the steamer which will take us over to 
America, and nothing grander of its kind, I should think, could 
be found in any country. The vessel is 300 feet by 80, and is 
decorated so magnificently i:hat one can fancy oneself in a rich 
private house. 

" I look forward to the sea — the ocean ! 

" When I have got across, I shall let you hear again. As my 
mother wished to have a Daguerreotype of my poor features, I 
have sat for one in London. I hope it will have succeeded. 
Farewell, good mamma and papa ! Think of me with friendli- 
ness, and give me now and then your blessing, for a parents' 
blessing is something good to travel with. Let me hear occasion- 
ally how you are at Pommern.* Remember to look into the 
l)ooks which I gave you, while stopping with you there — and may 
the Lord Himself enlighten and bless you ! Thus prays most 

"Your attached 

" Daughter." 

* A small place taken by her for her parents. 

2 F 2 

430 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. v. 

There is a quaint touch of parental authority in the last 
sentence of the letter, which blends curiously with the beautiful 
and child-like simplicity with which she asks for the parents* 
blessing on her going-forth. The whole letter is a delightful foil 
to the following account of the Avild popular excitement that was 
fermenting, at this moment, round the gu'l who was herself en- 
gaged in writing those plain, quiet, humble messages, so full of 
domestic affection and simple piety, to the two wondering parents 
in the old country. 

Jenny LincVs Departure for America* 

" Liverpool, Wednesday night. 

" Jenny Lind is gone — gone amid a scene of triumph which 
was not more a tribute to her own surpassing work and talent, 
than to the art which it is her honour to profess and to which she 
does so much honour. Ere these few hasty lines are before the 
reader, this incomparable songstress will have performed one- 
fourth of her voyage to the United States, where, we are assured, 
a reception awaits her which will cast in the shade even the 
splendid ovation which has just attended her departure from 
among her European admirers. 

" Fresh as I am from this magnificent display of public feeling 
and sympathy, I can scarcely enter into details. With ears still 
deafened with the booming of cannon, and the shouts of the 
thousands who were assembled on either side of the Mersey, and 
eyes dazzled by the gay effect of innumerable craft, which were 
illumined by the sunlight as they ran to and fro on the river, or 
followed in the wake of the Atlantic, I can scarcely give you a 
sober description of this extraordinary scene. 

"The authorities foresaw there would be a great demonstra- 
tion, and took their precautions accordingly. Fancy what must 
be the interest excited by Jenny Lind, when the police thought 
it necessary to notify to Mr. Barnum's agent, that if the lady took 
her departure from the quay at the hour generally expected, they 
could not ensure the safety of life and limb. We doubt much 
whether any sovereign was compelled to change the programme 
of his movements for such a reason. Yet so it was ; and much 
hurrying to and fro was there in consequence. Instead of leaving 
at nine or ten o'clock, as had been arranged, Jenny Lind was 
obliged to slip out privately at a quarter to eight, and go down 
all manner of back streets to be able to get to the pier unper- 

* Frcm the Illusirated London Xews, Aug. 21th, 1850. 

1S50.] DEPARTURE. 437 

ceived. In this she was successful ; and while the intending 
sightseers were disposing of their muffins and coffee, the little 
woman whom they were all going out to see had quietly gone on 
board the Atlantic in a river steamer ; but not until after she had 
been annoyed (during a few minutes' stay on the pier) by a crowd 
of idlers who pressed round her in the most rude manner, and 
coidd scarcely be kept off by the police. 

" When at last the hundred and fifty passengers who had 
engaged all the berths were received on board, with all their 
luggage, and had taken leave of all their friends, and when the 
sound of a gun booming across the water from the bows of the 
steamer announced that all was ready for departure, what was 
certainly a ' great scene ' commenced. The immense floating 
mass began to move, and, as if by magic, all the craft that had 
been playing about on the surface of the river, formed into lines, 
and made a sort of procession. As the Atlantic steamed up from 
her moorings, past the Albert Docks, she turned her head inshore, 
in the direction of the town, and slowly passed in front of the 
magnificent line of quays, amidst the enthusiastic shouts of 
thousands of human beings who lined the shore, not merely on the 
Liverpool side, but also all along the Cheshire coast, from 
Birkenhead onwards to the mouth of the great arm of the sea. 
Salutes were fired from the shore, and were returned from the 
Atlantic ; and the whole scene, — such an army of craft of all sorts 
and kinds floating, with pennants flying — such a shouting — such 
a roaring of cannon— -such a bright sunlight (which broke out sud- 
denly, as if to afPord presage of fair weather) — was really one of 
the most extraordinary sights we ever witnessed. Every eye was 
strained to get a sight of Jenny Lind. There the little woman, 
stood on the paddle-box, with her arm in that of Captain West, 
and waving her handkerchief enthusiastically in return for the 
greeting of the crowds who had assembled to witness her 

Such was her farewell, as she passed from the Old World to the 
New, travelling out over the unknown waters, to discover 
whether Music had power to draw towards her the hearts of these 
iimnense populations, in far-away cities, with the same security with 
which it had knit to her the affections of all those to whom her 
voice had spoken, in the land that lay about her home. So she sails, 
wafted out, for her adventure, on the wings of all the favouring 
hopes with which it was possible for that Old World to send her 
forward. Those ringing cheers, those crowded boats, those flut- 
tering handkerchiefs, those straining eyes, which followed her 


438 JENNY LIND. [bk. ix. ch. v. 

out of Liverpool, spoke to her of all the wonderful days in 
Europe that lay behind her — days that had never once failed to 
bring her their unceasing tribute of praise and welcome and love, 
as often as she invoked them, ever since she first babbled out her 
earliest speeches as a little child on the boards of the Stockholm 

And this unfailing triumph had never limited itself to a mere 
admiration. Always it had been an admiration that was trans- 
figured, by its own inward force, into genuine affection. Always 
it had felt the power of her personality ; and had understood her 
deeper motives, and her serious intention. She had never been 
wholly misunderstood in her desire that, by her Art, she should 
touch, the finer issues of the religious consciousness, and enlarge 
the resources of a human charity. 

All this was behind her, to forward and cheer her, as she 
tempted the new Atlantic seas. Nor did the promise of high fortune 
belie itself. The pledge was redeemed in a measure that ran over 
and over. It is not our present part to follow her in this adven- 
ture, nor to tell the familiar tale of the boundless enthusiasm 
that awaited her every step from the moment that she touched 
American shores. Our special part ends at this point, where the 
old European career, in its special sense, closes. Up till now, 
her Dramatic and Artistic life had developed, step by step and 
stage by stage, in an orderly sequence of gradations. She has 
now touched the final level on which her future career is to 
move ; there is no new fashion it is to take. The platform of 
the concert-room is the ultimate spot of vantage from which she 
is to reach the world of men. It is needless to expand a record 
which would merely repeat in detail the same typical success. 
We have seen enough already to prove that, in her abandonment 
of the stage, she had not surrendered her chance of delivering 
her Artistic message. On the contrary, though her marvellous 
histrionic gift was put aside, she found a freedom of scope, a glad 
outlet, for her singing, which rather increased than diminished 
the exercise of her sway. The fervour that accompanied her 
concert-singing was in no degree less than that which, of old, 
had besieged the doors of the theatres. The opportunities which 
it offered her for beneficence were, at least, as magnificent as 
before. Moreover, in the Oratorio, she more and more found the 
most congenial and adequate of all the fields in which she could 

1850.] DEPARTUKE. 439 

exercise the full force of her poAvers, and attain the noblest 
realisation of her ideal. 

We send her out, then, on her American visit, with no sense 
that her career, in touching its final level, has less triumph in 
store for her than any of the steps which led to it. We shall 
leave her to go ever forward, still encouraged, from New York to 
Savannah, Avith the same passion of devotion, the same thrill of a 
unique experience, Avhich she had evoked already in Stockholm 
and Berlin, in Vienna and London. 

But, though Ave do not f oIIoav her steps farther, aa'c cannot part 
with her without recording a message or tAvo which she herself 
sends back, as from the new land, to those Avho Avatch after her in 
the old countries. And the messages are to those AA^ho have been 
our companions through this book ; and Ave shall be glad to feel 
that they receiA^e good ncAvs from her, and that they and she are 
still undivided, though the Atlantic rolls betAveen. 

And as her last letter, at the moment of leaving Europe, had 
been Avritten to her parents, so let the first t